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September 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.

Traited corn benefits from added protection

Sep 29, 2009
Caydee Savinelli

Corn hybrids with corn rootworm traits help manage a serious problem, but research shows that traits alone may not be enough to protect corn yields, especially in regions with heavy pressure. As you harvest corn this fall, you will remember why you want to avoid lodging.

Current RW-trait corn is low-dose, which could result in noticeable feeding by larvae before they are controlled. This feeding leads to scarred roots, reduced standability and often, reduced yields. Other early-season pests, like wireworm, cutworm or white grub infestations are also not controlled by traited hybrids.

University of Illinois data from DeKalb and Urbana, where the rootworm pressure is historically heavy, shows that the combination of a soil-applied insecticide and most rootworm Bt corn hybrids (left) resulted in significantly lower node-injury ratings. Syngenta trials in 2007 and 2008 indicated a significant return on investment in over 70 percent of cases when insecticide was applied over traited corn in heavy rootworm pressure areas.

Enhancing plant physiology: Improve standability, improve harvestability

Sep 25, 2009
Eric Tedford

Enhancing Plant Physiology
 Losing yield to fallen corn poses a problem when harvest time comes. Oftentimes, in areas with frequent wind storms, strong winds knock corn stalks to the ground and cause a potential loss in profit to the grower. Standability becomes an issue to the grower because lodging slows down combine speeds, increasing time spent in the field and decreasing profits.
In corn, lodging -- or breakage of the stalk below the ear -- is an increasingly serious concern for growers the longer their crop stays in the field. Azoxystrobin help create a stronger, healthier and more harvestable crop. Syngenta field trials demonstrated that corn treated with a fungicide plus insecticide had a 35 percent reduction in stalk lodging on a hybrid moderately susceptible to stalk rot diseases and a 21 percent reduction in lodging on a tolerant hybrid.
This photo illustrates the difference in stalk girth and pith integrity between a fungicide-treated corn stalk (left) and an untreated corn stalk (right).

Resistance to multiple herbicides a growing challenge

Sep 22, 2009
Chuck Foresman

Remember when weed control required a cocktail of chemistries? Remember when new products instantly solved tough problems? Remember when those new products stopped working? 
Weeds do. 
Within a weed population, a few plants naturally have resistance to any herbicide. However, as a herbicide is used over and over, growers select for weeds that carry that resistance gene. And once a large portion of a population carries that gene, it is passed down through generations, allowing weeds to “remember” that they are resistant to certain chemistries.
If resistance to a single mode of action can make weed management programs a challenge, resistance to multiple modes of action can make weed management nearly impossible. But multiple resistance is a reality. In southern Illinois, 23 counties have waterhemp resistant to one or more of these four modes of action: ALS-inhibitors, glyphosate, PPO-inhibitors and triazines. Missouri has tri-resistant weeds (glyphosate, PPO-inhibitors and ALS-inhibitors). In Indiana, no-till soybean growers are facing horseweed (marestail) populations resistant to both glyphosate and ALS-inhibitors.
To manage this challenge, weed scientists recommend using multiple herbicide modes of action to avoid selecting for resistance to one commonly-used product. That’s also why rotating herbicide modes of action is key for resistance management. 
Do you have weeds resistant to more than one herbicide? How do you manage them? Check out for some ideas.

Herbicide flexibility can make or break a crop

Sep 18, 2009
Gordon Vail
The 2009 planting season, which lasted well into June in places like Missouri, was just one more example of how growers like you manage unpredictable weather. Some planting seasons are early and easy. Some are late and frustrating. But as you start harvesting, you want to see grain in the tank, not lots of weeds on the ground. Or a complete disaster, like this.
Because Mother Nature is ever-changing, herbicide flexibility in the spring can help you maximize yields in the fall. Residual herbicides are critical for keeping fields clean early. But if you spray and it rains too much before your corn is planted, you need a herbicide with long residual control. Or you plant and it rains before you can spray, you need a herbicide that can be applied after corn has emerged.
The problem is that you likely chose your herbicide program a couple months before you started warming up the tractor. In fact, you will be evaluating your weed control, along with all your other crop decisions, as your combine is rolling. So as you look for weeds that may have stolen grain from your tank and add to your problems next year, think about the flexibility you will want in 2010. 

Enhancing plant physiology: Preserved green leaf area

Sep 15, 2009
Eric Tedford

Enhancing Plant Physiology
The process of photosynthesis relies on a number of conditions to produce energy for plant growth. As discussed in previous posts, light, water and carbon dioxide are the main components for photosynthesis. When there is a greater amount of green leaf area exposed on a plant, the plant is able to take in a greater amount of sunlight for photosynthesis. Similarly, there is increased area for the reactions of photosynthesis to occur.
The longer plants maintain their green leaf area, the more time there is for photosynthesis to take place, the healthier the plants are and the greater chance for plants to achieve their maximum yield potential. By allowing a plant to live its full lifecycle without early senescence – the aging and drying of leaves – azoxystrobin enables leaves to use the sun’s energy longer through photosynthesis. The plant is able to maintain healthy, green leaves longer, improving plant quality and maximizing yield at harvest.  Maintaining green leaf area to maximize the full lifecycle of a plant should not be confused with green stem disorder of soybeans. 

These photos demonstrate the effects of a fungicide (left) on preserving green leaf area longer than the untreated plants (right).

The three Rs of glyphosate resistance

Sep 11, 2009
Chuck Foresman

Residual. Residual. Residual. These are the guidelines Georgia growers must follow to control glyphosate resistance in their fields. One of my colleagues in the area says he’s seen fields like this one, where, in the spring, Palmer pigweed is so thick, “You can’t drop a BB without hitting a pigweed.”
With weeds like Palmer pigweed, which can grow a couple inches in just one day and produce 400,000 seeds per plant, residual herbicides are necessary. Growers need to stay ahead of the weed and not let it get too large to control. Otherwise, it is possible to lose the crop, according to my colleague. He’s seen it happen, and based on experience, he recommends residual products in soybeans and cotton.
He also expects the continuous use of glyphosate in other areas of the country cause problems like those he sees in Georgia. In this field, you can see the difference between applying a residual and not using one. For customized solutions to these types of weed problems, check out this Solution Builder.

Share your success story

Sep 08, 2009
Anthony Transou

This season hasn’t been easy for many parts of the country, but seed and crop protection technology has helped many growers overcome challenges. Do you have a success story related to Syngenta products? If so, you can submit it through
Share a photo, video or audio clip, or just a few comments. These stories will be eligible for a variety of prizes, and could be featured online at or in other materials. 

Enhancing plant physiology: Increased water use efficiency

Sep 03, 2009

Eric Tedford
Enhancing Plant Physiology

During the day, moisture evaporates from plant parts through transpiration. The rate of transpiration is determined by a number of factors, including light intensity, temperature, humidity, wind speed and soil water supply. Azoxystrobin increases the plant’s ability to use water efficiently and effectively, slowing down transpiration and reducing the adverse effects of water stress on yields. As a result, corn and soybean plants are better able to tolerate moisture stress conditions.
Plants regulate the exchange of water and gases through tiny pores called stomata. These pores are equipped with small guard cells that control the flow of water and gases through the opening. The guard cells act as a protective keeper and react in high stress situations to balance out water and gas exchange. In high-temperature or drought situations, the rate of transpiration increases. However, to prevent the plant from losing too much water, guard cells will close to regulate water loss. Azoxystrobin helps plants use this water efficiently and regulate the rate of transpiration.

This photo illustrates the beneficial effects of fungicide treatment (right) on corncobs and stalks relative to untreated corn (left).

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