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November 2009 Archive for Syngenta Field Report

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The Syngenta Field Report features information and experts from Syngenta sharing observations about issues growers are dealing with in the fields.

Soybean Insider redesign

Nov 24, 2009

Anthony Transou


Earlier I asked how you use e-mail.  We recently did a makeover on the Soybean Insider, a weekly newsletter that provides expert information and advice as well as customized market news.


We have re-designed it to better provide the most up-to-date information in the best format possible.  The Soybean Insider facelift should improve functionality while still providing weekly e-mail updates tailored specifically to soybean grower. 

You can register online to receive the newly re-designed Soybean Insider at As always, I’m interested in your feedback.

CRW refuges help prevent resistance

Nov 20, 2009

Caydee Savinelli


Currently, the EPA requires that growers who use traited corn hybrids include some conventional corn nearby for insect resistance management. Why is a refuge needed?


Refuges help maintain rootworm genetics that have never been exposed to Bt.  If non-exposed populations breed with exposed populations, we may delay resistance, according to some entomologists.  Refuges are designed to prevent a “survival of the fittest” situation where rootworm populations shift to those carrying a higher level of Bt tolerance. 


Of course, refuge acres still need corn rootworm protection, and growers have found options for those acres.

Glyphosate-resistant weeds are spreading

Nov 17, 2009

Glyphosate-tolerant crops have revolutionized agriculture, making glyphosate one of the most important tools you have to manage your crops.  However, weed resistance, especially to glyphosate, continues to be a real and growing problem in the U.S. 


According to estimates, more than seven million row crop acres were infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds last year.  And with an expected 40 percent average compounded annual growth rate, more than 38 million row crop acres could be infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds by 2013.


To combat this development, I recommend overlapping, integrated weed control strategies:

·        Rotate crops

·        Use more than one mode of action for weed control

·        Keep crops as weed-free as possible throughout the season; strive for effective, season-long weed control


Since 2001, Syngenta has fought on the front lines in the battle against glyphosate resistance, advising that over reliance on glyphosate herbicides would lead to resistance – and it clearly has. For more details, visit

Break down seed treatment combinations: Insecticides

Nov 13, 2009
David Long
Because of the benefits of soybean seed treatments, growers have more choices available to protect their crops. Many of these options combine several active ingredients into one package. The best way to figure out the option that makes the most sense for your crop is to compare individual active ingredients in a combination. 

For example, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid are two common insecticide active ingredients used in seed treatment combinations. Thiamethoxam requires less soil moisture for activation, so it ensures plant protection even in dry soil conditions. 

The longer thiamethoxam remains in the soil, the more tightly it binds to the soil, making it less likely to leach. This indicates that thiamethoxam is readily available to be absorbed by plant roots, but shortly after application it binds to the soil profile thereby reducing leaching potential. However, it does not bind so tightly that it is not available for plant uptake. 
In bioassays conducted for determination of soil absorption, imidacloprid showed stronger binding on each of the analyzed soil types than thiamethoxam. High levels of soil absorption or binding can render the pesticide unavailable for plant uptake and biological activity.

Uncovering the myth of green stem disorder

Nov 10, 2009

Green stem disorder is likely a term that you have heard, but what does it really mean? By definition, green stem disorder is a condition in soybean plants where there is a delay in senescence (aging/ripening) of the plant’s stem, while the pods ripen and seeds mature normally. The cause of this abnormal effect is unknown, but the consequences to growers can be substantial. This disorder is a nuisance to producers because it complicates harvest by significantly increases the difficulty of cutting through the green stems. This slows down the harvest and also increases fuel and harvesting equipment maintenance costs.

Some may confuse this delayed senescence of the stem with the effects that many see from using a strobilurin fungicide; however, this is not the case. Strobilurin fungicides also delay plant senescence but this happens to the whole plant. The result of this delay is that the soybean plant has more time to assimilate the sun's energy into pod and seed development. This might result in harvesting a few days later than you would without a fungicide, but the plants are uniformly mature at harvest and the delay usually is worth the wait.  Strobilurin fungicides have several positive effects on physiological processes within plants that allow them to stay green longer and therefore utilize the sun's energy through photosynthesis to produce larger beans, fuller pods and greater yields. Although green stem disorder may not impact yield, this malady may delay harvest and increase costs.

The photos below display the difference between green stem disorder and the greening effect of a strobilurin fungicide.

Green Stem Effect in Soybeans   Strobilurin Greening Effect in Soybeans

In the first photo, the soybean plant that is displayed suffers from green stem disorder. Notice that the stem in this plant has a fluorescent green color, while the pods are brown and ready to be harvested. In the second photo, this fungicide-treated plant shows the greening effect that occurs with strobilurin fungicides. The overall plant appears green and healthier. By delaying the natural aging process in soybeans, strobilurin fungicides allow the plant to produce fuller pods and larger beans.


Combine contemplation: What tank mix partner will you choose in GT corn next year?

Nov 06, 2009
Planting glyphosate-tolerant corn and using glyphosate for weed control has become the standard in corn production. But, while glyphosate is a valuable tool, it is too risky to rely on glyphosate alone. And as you harvest, you may be able to see why.
Since glyphosate provides no residual control, many weeds continue to germinate, competing with the crop and making fields a bit more difficult to get through at harvest. Plus, using glyphosate alone does not control glyphosate-resistant weeds and increases the risk for such weeds to develop. 

As you (finally) harvest, note what weeds are still in the field. Whether they are green or not, chances are you are adding their seeds to the seedbank, so they could become a problem next year. The best post-emergence option in GT corn is a glyphosate plus residual herbicide for control of difficult or glyphosate-resistant weeds. Then next best post-emergence corn option is to tank mix a residual herbicide with glyphosate or use a pre-mix to achieve additional activity on problem weeds that you expect to show up in that field next year. You will find solutions for both corn and soybeans in this Solutions Builder.

E-mail me…

Nov 03, 2009
Anthony Transou
For most of us, e-mail has evolved from something to be really excited about (think Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail) to one of the basics of life. Often when I’m talking to someone about something, I hear, “Can you e-mail that to me?”
Think about it – checking e-mail is probably almost as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth. But much more informative. It’s likely part of the way you do business today. You can subscribe to newsletters, get market analysis updates, request quotes and share that picture of your neighbor’s tractor half-buried in the mud. 

So what kind of information do you want to get via e-mail? What do you subscribe to? What is most helpful?
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