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June 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.

Atrazine celebrates 50 years in the field

Jun 26, 2009
For 50 years, farmers around the world have relied on atrazine to fight weeds in corn, grain sorghum, sugar cane and other crops. And for good reason: it’s still one of the most effective, affordable and trusted products in agriculture today. 
 
I remember my dad using atrazine granules for the first time, applied with the corn planter in a band at planting. This was truly an incredible technological jump for my brother and I. You see, we had the pure drudgery job of cultivating every acre of corn twice…the first time with fenders down scraping the ground so you didn’t cover corn, the second cultivation time for “layby” on 12-inch corn. At least we could roll through that. On the first cultivation, with atrazine 5 MPH, without…0.5MPH! 
 
Atrazine has long been a grower favorite it’s effective in controlling a broad range of yield-robbing weeds, is safe to the crop and fits a variety of farming systems. Syngenta, the original developer of atrazine, is marking 50 years of atrazine use with continuing support of this valuable herbicide.

How do you use atrazine in your weed control program?

Losing nutrients, water and yield

Jun 23, 2009
Post-emergence herbicides can alleviate spring fieldwork, especially when it’s been wet like it has this year, but allowing weeds to grow too long can be "robbing" nitrogen and other nutrients from the intended crop, as this study showed.
 
This article describes a study done by Syngenta agronomist Bob Kacvinsky, explaining why weed control is so critical. He notes that, at any stage, weeds use at least as much water, nitrogen and space that corn plants do. Weeds also greatly outnumber the crop, resulting in up to 40 times the water and nitrogen removal as corn plants require.
 
However, with wet weather across much of the Midwest this spring, some growers found that a pre-emergence program wasn’t possible. In that case, field studiesshowed that applying a post-emergence herbicide with residual at the right time can help protect yield.

Resistance puts on the pressure

Jun 19, 2009
In northeast Arkansas, near where the state’s first confirmed case of glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed appeared, this competitive weed is putting the pressure on soybean and cotton growers.

According to one of my colleagues in the field, the first photo shows “average” Palmer pigweed pressure before planting soybeans. Wet weather has pushed planting late, but growers are getting a good look at their weed pressure. This field will be burned down with glyphosate and a residual, because although these plants may not all be glyphosate resistant, growers don’t want to select for resistance.

The second picture shows how an effective application of glyphosate and a pre-emergence herbicide can allow soybeans to emerge. Note the number of weed carcasses – without a good burndown, the soybeans don’t have a chance.
 
This heavy pigweed pressure has become more noticeable in the last couple years, as resistance has spread. In the past, Palmer pigweed wasn’t a key weed concern in this area.  Glyphosate could kill large weeds. But growers are learning now that timing is critical.  For best results weeds should not be allowed to emerge, and Palmer is one weed I want to control before it emerges.  That takes planning and the use of a preemerge residual herbicide.   You have a management plan laying out what crop you are going to plant in each field, the fertilizer you plan to use…we just need to do the same for weed control to stay ahead of the problem.

Relying on glyphosate alone? Not so much

Jun 16, 2009
Glyphosate-tolerant crops have made glyphosate a product choice for use on millions of acres. However, using glyphosate alone presents challenges:
 
And those challenges are causing changes. According to a recent University of Illinois survey at a series of events, growers say they are moving toward more integrated weed management. In the survey, only 28 percent said they used a glyphosate-only program in their soybeans. And, an overwhelming 91 percent said they believe glyphosate-resistant weeds will change the way they manage weeds in glyphosate-tolerant crops within the next five years.

Adding a residual component to weed control can alleviate those problems, while protecting crop yield potential. Industry experts agree that residual weed control is critical to protecting yield and managing weed resistance. Here are some thoughts from several industry and Syngenta experts on the value of residual herbicides. Plus, research shows that residual, pre-emergence herbicides protect yield in corn and soybeans.

Glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed

Jun 12, 2009
Glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed is a reality in five states. It showed up full-force in areas of Minnesota this season, as you can see in this picture taken in early May. 
 
Giant ragweed is a tough weed that can cause serious problems if not controlled:
  • Can grow up to 15 feet in fertile, moist soil
  • First weed you see in the spring in many Midwest fields
  • Competitive weed that can significantly reduce yield
    • According to the Ohio State University, season-long competition from one giant ragweed per 3 feet of row reduced corn yields by 65 percent and soybean yields by 80 percent
Rotating herbicides and crop systems can help manage the development of resistance. Here are some options to help control giant ragweed in your fields. What did you use this season?

University research supports early weed control

Jun 08, 2009
Purdue University, Ohio State University and Southern Illinois University recently shared data from a joint 2007-08 glyphosate-tolerant corn timing study. The findings reinforced what many weed scientists (including me) recommend – controlling weeds early in the season protects yield. For example, Iowa State University reports a one day delayed application of glyphosate may cost more than a pre-emergence residual herbicide, depending on crop price and yield potential.
 
In the study:
  • Plots treated with foundation herbicides early in the season performed better than post-only applications. 
  • The longer weeds were allowed to compete with corn, the less it yielded.

The study showed that applying a pre-emergence herbicide and following up with glyphosate when corn was 12 inches tall yielded 223 bushels per acre. On the opposite end of the spectrum, using no pre-emergence herbicide and waiting until two weeks after corn was 12 inches tall to apply glyphosate yielded more than 40 bushels per acre less.

Corn growers across the Midwest use pre-emergence herbicides for a variety of reasons, including better weed control, yield protection, a wider application window, and to control key problem weeds.  How have pre-emergence herbicides protected your crop so far this season?
 

Mobile Access to Markets & Weather

Jun 08, 2009
Anthony Transou
Imagine you’re in your pickup or on your tractor, and you hear that dry weather is affecting the soybean crop in Brazil. U.S. markets are rallying, and you’d like to know what’s happening to local cash prices.

Well, now you can. All you need is a data-ready cell phone or other wireless internet device. Simply type in ‘m.farmassist.com’ and follow the prompts. Once there, be sure to register your zip code.

Besides up-to-the-minute market reports, you’ll also receive personalized, three-times-per-day weather forecasts (based on your zip code), streaming agronomic news and information for the crops you grow. There are drop-down menus by crop, pest and product type. I will talk more about what you can find there at a later date.

If you’d rather see what it might look like before signing on, just go to www.farmassist.com/mobile on your computer and see the tutorial.
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