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June 2011 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.

Value of root-knot nematode protection

Jun 28, 2011

Root-knotnematodes are the most widespread species of nematodes, especially in the south, infecting corn, cotton and soybeans. Root-knot nematodes feed on the inside of roots as immature larvae. Their secretions cause visible galls on the roots, which absorb plant resources and make the plant vulnerable to other infections. 

That cuts into crop yield potential. But how much?
In research from 2008 to 2010, treating soybean seed in fields with known root-knot nematode populations with a nematicide/insecticide/fungicide seed treatment combination compared to an insecticide/fungicide combination delivered a yield increase 76 percent of the time. The average yield increase was 2.5 bushels per acre, which at current prices is a return on investment of $16.25. That can add up quickly.
Do you have root-knot nematodes in your fields? Have you considered trying to help protect your soybeans next year?

Summer Weather Paves the Way for Japanese Beetles

Jun 21, 2011

Dr. Roy Boykin

The hot days of summer are on the horizon, and that is just the type of weather Japanese beetles like. Over the next six weeks, the threat of a Japanese beetle infestation is at its peak. So, it’s important to know your facts, scout your fields and be prepared to deal with these insect pests. 

Japanese Beetle FeedingThe Japanese beetle arrived accidentally in New Jersey in 1916, and since then has been eating its way through the Eastern and Midwestern United States. Japanese beetles are about ½ inch long and metallic green with bronze-colored wing covers. They are identifiable by the six white tufts that grow below the wing covers. Japanese beetles "skeletonize" plants by eating the leaf tissue between the veins, creating a lace-like pattern. Severely damaged leaves will brown and drop as the insects eat upper foliage and work their way down the plant. 

Researchers advise that even if the highly mobile insect pests have not made it to your fields, this is the time of year they may. According to research from The University of Kentucky, Japanese beetles appear in mid-June and live about 35 to 40 days. A single beetle will not do much damage, but groups of beetles, attracted by each other’s pheromones, can wreak havoc on soybean.    

Japanese beetle adults defoliate soybean and cause considerable yield losses. They tend to defoliate soybean flowers during the plant’s reproductive stage, which may interfere with pollination. Research by The University of Illinois shows that Japanese beetle problems are exasperated by the presence of other defoliators and can necessitate insecticide treatment. 

To prevent soybean from suffering from the Japanese beetle’s insatiable appetite, scout early and act decisively. Scout border and interior rows for defoliation in five different areas of the field. An insecticide treatment is recommended when defoliation reaches 30 percent before bloom, or 20 percent after bloom and through pod fill. Give your fields the best protection from Japanese beetles by selecting an insecticide that provides three industry-leading technologies that work together to provide fast knockdown and longer residual control, providing you with higher potential yield and profit.

Dr. Roy Boykin, Senior Technical Brand Manager, Insecticides, Syngenta Crop Protection
Roy is responsible for the technical development, positioning and product life cycle management of insecticides for all business units in the NAFTA Region. Roy received his undergraduate education at the College of Charleston with majors in biology and business and received his master’s/doctorate degrees in entomology with minors in plant pathology and crop science from North Carolina State University. 

A Usual Summer Suspect – Gray Leaf Spot

Jun 13, 2011

Eric Tedford

Will it be a hot and humid summer? Will gray leaf spot be prevalent over much of the Midwest and Eastern corn-growing regions? As temperatures and humidity rise, these conditions pave the way for the development of gray leaf spot. As one of the most damaging and yield-robbing diseases in corn, gray leaf spot is a fungal disease that eats away at leaf tissues, inhibiting a plant’s production of energy and impacting yield. Information published by The Ohio State University Extension says potential yield losses from gray leaf spot generally range from 5-40 bu/A, and losses as high as 90-100 percent have been reported. Additionally, gray leaf spot can reduce grain fill by up to 50 percent. In addition to reducing grain fill, gray leaf spot can greatly compromise the photosynthetic integrity of the leaves which leads to weaker stalks and increased lodging. 

If you regularly scout your field, you can spot the brownish-gray, rectangular lesions early on. Gray leaf spot typically originates on the lower leaves, generally around the time when tasseling occurs. As lesions on the bottom leaves sporulate spores disperse to the middle and upper canopy. Gray leaf spot lesions start developing during the late-vegetative and the early reproductive growth stages of the plant. In warm, humid weather the lesions develop quickly and can kill entire leaves.
According to Kansas State University Research and Extension, conditions for gray leaf spot development are ideal when temperatures are between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but the disease can thrive in the hottest summer conditions if adequate moisture is available.

If a highly susceptible hybrid is being grown and lesions are found on the third leaf below the ear leaf, a curative and preventive fungicide application will be beneficial. Strobilurin fungicides can be helpful in preventing and controlling gray leaf spot, and a fungicide with two different modes of action with both preventive and curative activity provides the best defense.

Eric Tedford, Fungicide Technical Brand Manager for Syngenta, provides technical leadership for the development of fungicides. His experience includes fungicide research and development for field crops, development of postharvest fungicides, and global technical development of fungicides. He holds bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in plant pathology from the University of Massachusetts, Clemson University, and the University of California (Davis), respectively.

Soybean cyst nematode protection increases yield

Jun 08, 2011

Soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) have been difficult to manage in soybean fields across the country. Under optimum conditions, these tiny pests complete their life cycle in 24 to 30 days, infecting soybean roots and reducing crop yield. 

Cultural practices, including crop rotation and the use of resistant cultivars, are used to decrease damage from SCN. But these methods do not effectively reduce or eliminate SCN populations, and there is no way to offset early-season damage.
However, over the past few years, our trials have consistently shown soybean yield increases in fields with SCN presence when using a soybean nematicide/insecticide/fungicide seed treatment combination compared to an insecticide/fungicide combination. The average yield increase is 2 bushels per acre, and we’ve seen yield bumps in 75 percent of the trials. In fact, the average return on investment is $12 per acre more with the nematicide combination (based on $8.50 per bushel soybeans).

Nematode protection helps most when SCN pressure has been observed in the field in the past, and when early-season stress, like low moisture, is combined with nematode feeding. Are you planning to provide SCN protection for your 2011 soybean crop?

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