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November 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.

Is there an app for that?

Nov 30, 2010

Anthony Transou

Probably.

 

If you have a Smartphone, like an iPhone or Droid, you likely have downloaded a bunch of applications, or “apps,” to help you find information.  The commercials don’t focus on apps specific to agriculture, but yes, there is an app for “that” – whatever “that” might be.

 

There are apps for markets, weather, local and national ag radio broadcasts, soil monitoring, pest tracking, irrigation, herd management, growing degree days, etc.  Some growers say that some apps, like those calculating distance or area, can save time compared to relying on the GPS software in the tractor cab. 

 

What specific apps do you use?  What do you find most helpful?  And how do Smartphone apps complement or replace other technology on your farm?

Will Resistant Weeds Show up in 2011?

Nov 23, 2010

Chuck Foresman

Weed control problems in many fields are becoming all too common. As the 2010 season progressed, many growers across the Midwest and South were surprised to find that glyphosate – even at high rates – didn’t adequately control giant ragweed, Palmer pigweed, waterhemp or other tough weeds.
 
As one Iowa retailer put it, “If we would have know there was resistant giant ragweed in this field, the grower would have planned on doing something different.”
 
It is possible to be prepared to fight weed resistance in 2011 with a proactive, long-term plan. One good indicator of potential future problems was the condition of soybean fields at harvest. Uncontrolled weeds show up fairly clearly from the combine.  There are other signs to help gauge the risk of resistance this coming season. 
 
Herbicide resistance should be suspected when:
  • Herbicides with the same mode of action have been used year after year.
  • Dead weeds next to live weeds of the same species.
  • A patch of uncontrolled weeds is spreading.
  • Other causes of herbicide failure, such as bad weather, application timing and operator error, have been ruled out.
 
If resistant weeds are suspected, prepare a diverse weed management plan for next season. Rotate herbicide modes of action, using herbicides with residual activity. Develop a workload strategy that allows for timely herbicide applications, and use full, labeled rates. Customized recommendations are available using the Solution Builder at www.resistancefighter.com.

Midwest Corn Roundup: Nebraska

Nov 19, 2010

Gordon Vail

After battling a couple of very wet months early this summer that threatened to flood many fields, the corn crop in Nebraska bounced back.  By late July, corn was extremely healthy and far past tasseling, growers and retailers predicting an early – and successful – harvest.  And compared to 2009, harvest was early.
 
The weather this season illustrated the importance of early-season weed control, as many growers found themselves scrambling to adjust their weed control programs when rain kept them out of the sprayer when it was time for their second herbicide applications. Growers who sprayed a pre-emergence herbicide with residual control were able to stick with their planned herbicide programs in order to control heavy pressures of marestail, waterhemp, lambsquarters and foxtails.
 
Starting clean and staying clean throughout the season is the best way to protect your yield potential. When corn is forced to compete with weeds for moisture, nutrients and sunlight, yield can suffer. Avoid the risk of weeds decreasing your bottom line by utilizing a pre-emergence herbicide program with season-long residual control. This year, growers in Nebraska experienced the value of spraying their fields early resulting in a great looking corn crop despite the unfavorable weather.
 
How did that pan out for you at harvest?  Will experiences this year impact next year?

 

New seed treatment fungicide active ingredient

Nov 16, 2010

Dr. Palle Pedersen

Thiabendazole, a new seed treatment fungicide active ingredient, was recently registered for use in corn. This fungicide offers best-in-class Fusarium protection, specifically against Fusarium verticilliodides.
 
You may wonder why a seedling disease you can barely pronounce matters to your corn crop. Fusarium can damage crops and contaminate the soil. And Fusarium verticilliodides can also produce mycotoxin, which can reduce crop quality.
 
When combined into the market-leading nematicide/insecticide/fungicide corn seed treatment combination, thiabendazole provides another mode of action for more complete disease control, as well as added nematicidal activity. In this combination, thiabendazole can help provide increased protection against nematodes, microscopic threadlike round worms that feed on crop roots. It will be available in 2011.

Three Tips to Get on the Fast Track for Bountiful Crops

Nov 12, 2010

 

Eric Tedford
 
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone gave us a list of what to do so we may succeed in all of our endeavors? While we may not be that lucky, there are ways you can help ensure success with your crops. These three guidelines will highlight ways you can maximize the genetic potential of your crops to produce a higher yield.
 
1. Improve plant growth
 
One way to maximize the growth of your plants is by improving absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2), which increases a plant’s ability to photosynthesize. In addition to providing disease control, strobilurin fungicides can increase a plant’s ability to absorb and process CO2, which results in the plant being able to produce energy. This can lead to more efficient use of the sun’s energy and ultimately result in a healthier plant and higher yields.
 
A second way to improve your plants’ growth is to ensure your fields are utilizing nitrogen in the most efficient possible. Nitrogen is one of the main chemical elements required for plant growth and reproduction; therefore, improved utilization of nitrogen allows plants to produce proteins that are essential for maximum growth. In both cases, improving CO2 absorption and improving nitrogen use can result in healthier plants and ultimately higher yield.
 
2. Increase water use efficiency
           
We all know one of the most important ingredients for plant success is having the right amount of water. In times of drought, intense sun and high-temperatures, plants transpire- think of it in terms of humans perspiring when hot. Also like humans, plants can become dehydrated. In times of low rainfall, dehydration quickly becomes a big issue. This is another area in which strobilurin fungicides can help your crop in multiple ways at once. Strobilurins can help plants retain water by slowing the rate at which water is lost. A strobilurin also conserves moisture in soil and lengthens the time it takes a plant to be impacted by water deficits.
 
3. Extend grain and pod fill
 
The longer a plant maintains green leaf area, the more time there is for photosynthesis to take place. By preventing early yellowing and dropping of leaves, plants have more time to grow and reach full yield development. Strobilurin fungicides help extend grain and pod fill by maintaining green leaf longer thus reallocating nutrients from the leaves of the plants to the ears in corn or pods in soybean to improve plant quality and maximize yields at harvest.
 
What other growing practices do you follow that help increase yield?

Midwest Corn Roundup: Eastern Corn Belt

Nov 09, 2010

Gordon Vail

Like much of the Midwest, growers in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio dealt with less than favorable weather conditions this year. Rains flooded low-lying parts of the area early in the summer then disappeared, leaving many fields eager for a summer shower.  Despite the difficult conditions, the corn fields looked good most of the season – a testament to the importance of implementing a pre-emergence herbicide program for season-long weed control.

 

While the extra soil moisture was beneficial for corn health, the wet weather also increased weed pressures in the area, particularly velvetleaf, lambsquarters, ragweeds and pigweeds. Growers turned to products with multiple modes of action to combat stubborn weeds and aid in the fight against weed resistance.  Some growers reported that velvetleaf has become extremely hard to kill with glyphosate alone and have relied on products with more than one mode of action to keep it at bay.

 

Growers and retailers in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio worked to ensure a healthy crop by making sound agronomic decisions and using pre-emergence herbicide programs with multiple modes of action and residual control.  Weed control was great this year in most areas, but the potential for disease and insect pressures could always impact yield potential. That’s why it’s important to get out in your fields and take a look all season long – make sure you do all that you can to protect your crops. 

 

So, with corn harvested, where did yields end up in that part of the country?

What to do with all that data?

Nov 05, 2010

Anthony Transou

Another growing season has come to a close, and chances are your thoughts are starting to turn to preparation for 2011. If you are up on your technology, you probably have oodles of data from your fields. Locations of specific hybrids and varieties, spray application data, yield, etc., all can be collected from in-cab software.
 
So, now what do you do with it?
 
How will the data you collected this season impact your decisions for next season? Or will it just take up hard drive space in your computer?
 
A few practical ways to use data as you look to next year include:
  • Determining where additional information, such as soil tests, may be helpful
  • Identifying areas with lower yields that may require additional fertilizers
  • Choosing the best hybrids and varieties for particular soil types
  • Comparing different production practices that can boost yields such as seed treatments or aerial fungicide applications
  • Marking locations of problem weeds to ensure you choose a herbicide that will better control them next season
 
Share how you’ve used this type of information to improve your operation…

Atrazine saves the soil

Nov 02, 2010

Chuck Foresman

As I watched combines roll through fields across the country, I’m reminded that our soil is one of our most important resources. As you’re looking at your “dirt", it’s a good time to recognize the vital role herbicides like atrazine play in protecting the environment and promoting responsible land stewardship.
 
Besides helping to effectively and affordably control a broad spectrum of weeds, you know atrazine is essential to conservation tillage and no-till systems in agriculture, which can reduce soil erosion by up to 90 percent, compared to intensive tillage.
 
In fact, in 2008, atrazine was applied to more than 60 percent of conservation tillage and no-till corn acres, according to the Conservation Tillage Information Center. These practices dramatically reduce soil erosion, help conserve moisture in the soil, trim your fuel costs with fewer trips across the field, and reduce CO2 emissions.
 

That’s a lot of value related to one of the most cost-effective weed control options out there. How are you saving your soil?

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