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August 2010 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.

Support the preservation of the safe and effective use of atrazine at

Aug 31, 2010

Chuck Foresman

The Triazine Network is made up of farmers and farming groups who have been raising crops that have safely fed livestock and people for years. They are supporting the preservation of atrazine and pushing the EPA to follow the established regulatory process by relying on sound science, not environmentalist rhetoric.

As Triazine Network Chairman Jere White says, no one cares more about the safety of atrazine than those who use it. But the group is concerned that the EPA stepped outside the bounds of established regulatory procedures with the unplanned re-review of atrazine just a few years after a comprehensive, 12-year review found the herbicide safe when used as labeled.

More than 6,000 studies and 50 years of use support the value, effectiveness and safety of atrazine, but activist claims seem to be driving atrazine’s current (and unplanned) review at EPA.

Sign up at to receive the latest on atrazine and its review process, and to let your voice be heard in support of this proven tool.

Challenges of early soybean planting

Aug 27, 2010

Dr. Palle Pedersen

Spring 2010 got off to a better start than in 2009. But a wet late-May and early-June created some problems, especially for soybean planting.
Did you get your soybeans planted early? Research shows that can help increase yield, but you need to be aware of some challenges to early planting:
         Stand establishment
         Bean leaf beetles (vectors of bean pod mottle virus)
         Seedling diseases
         Late spring frost – planting earlier than recommended
         Sudden death syndrome
         Soybean seedling diseases causing seedling blight
         Pythium damping-off and root rot
         Phytophthora root rot
         Rhizoctonia root rot (Rhizoctonia solani)
         Fusarium spp.
Fortunately a soybean insecticide/fungicide seed treatment combination can protect plants from some of these challenges.
Or, did rain keep you from planting (or replanting) your soybeans until later than average? Although later-planted soybean crops avoid some of the challenges listed above, damp conditions during germination can translate to high disease potential. You want to see these plants grow vigorously to make up for lost time. Some seed treatments can enhance plant growth.
So which timeframe did you fall into this year?

Getting the Most Out of Your Soybean with One Fungicide

Aug 24, 2010

Eric Tedford

At the check-out counter, the cashier scans my items as I search through my wallet looking for my reward card. I find this to be a common situation for today’s consumers during these stressful economic times. I want to get the most “bang for my buck” and I am always looking for a deal. Like the majority of our world’s industries, agriculture is no stranger to the downward spiral of the economy. Growers are looking for added benefits too. Where is the yield reward card for soybean growers or 50 percent off discount on disease infestation this season? Growers need treatments for foliar diseases and benefits for the plant quality that are both best for the crop and for the growers’ return on investment.

There are fungicides available that combine both broad-spectrum disease control and plant physiological enhancements to help get more bang for your buck. These advantages can help you maximize yield, profit and increase your return on investment. The more you help your crops, the more your crops will benefit you. 
Protecting soybean fields from foliar and soil-borne diseases is a crucial step in enhancing the quality of your plants. A strobilurin fungicide will fight all four major classes of fungi and protect your field from damaging frogeye leaf spot and aerial blight; both showing up across the United States this season. 
Research results from Purdue University suggest frogeye leaf spot infection can happen at any time, but is most common after the R2 growth stage. Unfortunately, frogeye leaf spot’s earliest symptoms of small yellow dots can be mistaken for herbicide drift or other leaf diseases and therefore is often misdiagnosed.
Physiological enhancements benefit the health of your soybean plants, as well. A treatment containing azoxystrobin will help produce greener plants and higher yields. Azoxystrobin improves the assimilation of carbon dioxide, which enables leaves to use the sun’s energy through photosynthesis more efficiently. It can also slow down transpiration and thereby enhance the water use efficiency in some plants.
A strobilurin fungicide containing azoxystrobin will provide the right treatment to give you the most yield benefits to enhance soybean performance and profitability. 


Top row: Treated with a strobilurin fungicide containing azoxystrobin




Bottom row: Untreated



What diseases have you dealt with this season that could have been better controlled with a strobilurin fungicide treatment containing azoxystrobin?

Your stamp of approval

Aug 20, 2010

Anthony Transou

If you have teenagers in your life (kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, etc.), you may have noticed that they believe they should be able to show their approval (or disapproval) of anything and everything. It’s as easy as clicking the "Like" button on Facebook or the "RT" (retweet) button on Twitter. Both are the social media equivalent of standing up and saying "I think this is worth sharing!"
Online news sites, including this one, provide a variety of ways for you to give your stamp of approval as well. You can leave a comment, forward an article to a friend, or use Digg or a similar voting site to identify what you consider quality information that others should read.
Why does your stamp of approval – or disapproval – matter? It draws attention to something, just like the "I voted" sticker you receive at polls. While sharing content online isn’t exactly a civic duty, it can help others learn more about issues you consider important. And for an industry like agriculture, which is often perceived as backwards (think bib overalls and straw hat) or threatening (think large-scale production and crop protection products), standing up for what you agree with can make a difference.
Let me know how you share articles and thoughts online.

Syngenta Interactive Marketing Manager Anthony Transou manages the website for Syngenta Crop Protection and its latest offering, the mobile FarmAssist site.

Midwest Corn Roundup: Central Illinois crops looking good

Aug 17, 2010

Gordon Vail

Despite early-season setbacks caused by torrential rains and widespread flooding, crops are looking strong in Central Illinois through early August. Barren spots and weak stands mark fields across the region where low-lying rows were unable to drain. But if there is a silver lining to all the precipitation, crops had adequate soil moisture levels throughout the season.      
Overall weed control has been good this year. Growers who used residual herbicides, either preplant applications or timely post sprays, had particularly good results. Although it is not a widespread problem yet, more fields showed signs of glyphosate weed resistance this season, mainly with waterhemp and giant ragweed. I would encourage all growers to be alert to resistance issues and take a pro-active approach to managing weeds with residual herbicides and multiple chemistries.
Diligence and regular scouting is still needed as late-season disease and insect pressure have the potential to knock yields back.   But as corn and bean plants enter the final few weeks of grain fill; conditions look good to finish this year’s crop on a positive note.

Midwest Corn Roundup: Wisconsin

Aug 13, 2010

Gordon Vail

Crops in the Midwest are progressing well now, even in areas that had weather challenges earlier in the season. In Wisconsin during the last week of July, corn was healthy and well past tasseling, which means harvest will be here before we know it.


The majority of growers have had very good growing conditions this year. As was the case throughout much of the Midwest, planting took place early and a lot of moisture caused the corn to easily break the old “knee-high by the Fourth of July” motto. To date, disease pressure and insect pressure has been variable with some areas seeing more than others, however weed pressure from giant ragweed, lambsquarters and velvetleaf has been continually heavy. To control these, many growers have seen the benefits of relying on herbicides that have been proven to consistently perform well on a broad spectrum of weed species. Many herbicides provided initial burndown of emerged weeds but did not provide residual control, forcing growers to find a way to re-spray their corn acres.


Some areas also saw a lot of rain and were not able to initially spray their corn acres when they had planned and were forced to spray later. Luckily, Syngenta offers a wide portfolio of herbicides that can be sprayed preplant up to 30-inch corn so growers were able to find a solution to fit their farming needs.


What was your herbicide plan for 2010? Are you planning to change anything for 2011?

Atrazine: The ideal weed control partner

Aug 10, 2010


Chuck Foresman
Are you using atrazine on your corn (or sorghum or sugar cane) acres this year? Even if you didn’t use it alone, chances are you added a little atrazine to your weed control program, or used one of the more than 50 atrazine herbicides on the market today.
Atrazine often enhances the efficacy of a herbicide program. In many of our weed control studies, we see synergy between atrazine and other active ingredients, like mesotrione
As one Iowa grower put it, "Atrazine helps other herbicides work better, and it provides more residual weed control." And that’s why many corn growers’ herbicide applications also contain some atrazine.   I know growers use it on key weeds like morningglory, for example, either pre-emerge or post-emerge to improve the level of control needed in today’s corn fields.  

How do you incorporate atrazine in your weed control?

Little larvae, big bites

Aug 06, 2010

Caydee Savinelli

Be prepared to roll up your sleeves, tighten your boots and get out into your fields at any second because information from Iowa State University states that European corn borer might be lurking in your corn stalks and there is only a short time frame for treatment. European corn borer, though small, can do some real damage, as American farmers lose $1 billion in potential grain each year. 
Now is the time to start, and as always, continue scouting for European corn borer to protect your fields from yield loss. Research from Iowa State University shows that as moths, European corn borers lay eggs for approximately three weeks at a time and by the end of that time, many larvae will already have hatched. Scout your fields by looking for percentage of fresh whorl feeding and the number of live larvae in the whorl. As a good rule of thumb, as long as the majority of larvae have remained in the whorl, insecticide treatment is not too late.
If left untreated, European corn borer can damage leaves and conductive tissue, leading to stalk rot, lodging and ear dropping. Research from Iowa State University shows that just one larva per stalk during whorl stage can reduce grain yield by five to six percent and 12 percent if left untreated. For reliable control of European corn borer, growers should use a long-lasting insecticide that provides quick knockdown and low use rates to simultaneously save you money and yield.   
If you are a grower in or south of the Corn Belt, be aware that you might observe two or more generations of corn borer. This pesky, adaptable bug reminds us that even after insecticide treatment it is important to always scout to ensure nothing robs your yield.
Have your fields or neighboring fields had a problem with European corn borer this year?
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