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April 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.

Look it up on Wikipedia

Apr 30, 2010
Anthony Transou

Look it up in the encyclopedia on Wikipedia.
If your Internet searches are anything like mine, you may frequently get search results near the top of your list labeled “Wikipeida, the free encyclopedia.” And while getting information from a free encyclopedia sounds like a good deal, it helps to understand what Wikipedia is.
Straight from the introduction:
Wikipedia (pronounced /?w?k?'pi?di.?/ WIK) is a -i-PEE-dee-?multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly-editable model. … Wikipedia's articles provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information.
Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous Internet volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles (except in certain cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption and/or vandalism)…
In other words, Wikipedia is written by people who think it is entertaining to learn stuff and share it online, and have the time to do just that. In fact, you can write or edit Wikipedia entries if you’d like. 
Because of this, there are a couple things to keep in mind when you go there for information.
The site requires outside sources, meaning entries are usually pretty accurate. In fact, Wikipedia is often considered an acceptable source for high school research papers, and false information gets pulled off the site pretty quickly.
However, general opinion often influences entries a lot more than it did those dusty Encyclopedia Britannica volumes on your bookshelf, which means you have to be aware of “popular culture” bias. For example, you can see a bit of that bias in entries like herbicide or the environment section of ethanol fuel.

So, the next time you are searching for Pythium or drip irrigation, you’ll know what the Wikipedia entry is. Have you ever contributed to it?

Tank mixing: Antagonism and synergy

Apr 27, 2010
Gordon Vail

Tank mixes are becoming more common during spray season, thanks to a variety of factors. Weed resistance, disease and insect pressure, fuel costs, large numbers of acres to cover, weather delays and more all provide reasons to put multiple products in a spray tank.
The question is do you know how the products in the tank will impact the performance of the others? 
For example, we have research showing synergy between mesotrione and atrazine when combined – meaning the combinations is more effective on weeds than expected. However, we also know that in wheat, adding a fungicide to the herbicide application can result in leaf burn. Although crops often grow out of such injury, you should know what to expect.
At the same time, antagonism, or reduced activity from the individual components of the combination, can also be a problem. You may not get the control you expected in some cases.
Crop injury is a common concern, and one that was brought up at a Commodity Classic discussion. The Maryland grower on the panel, Mike Flanary, the Syngenta Farming for Future award winner, said that he relies on online resources like to find out what products can be combined and how they might affect his crop. You can also check with your retailer or crop consultant, to make sure you know what to expect from what you put in your tank.

Proven herbicide makes economic sense

Apr 23, 2010

Chuck Foresman

My company, Syngenta, has been recongizing 50 years of atrazine use.  There are many reasons atrazine has remained a weed control staple for so long – it increases yield and saves money.


For example, a study evaluating the impact of atrazine on corn yields showed that during the 20-year period from 1986 and 2005, the average corn yield was 5.1 percent higher with atrazine than without.  And the U.S. EPA estimates that farming without atrazine could cost corn growers $28 per acre due to yield loss and the use of more expensive herbicides.


In 2003, the EPA also said: “The total or national economic impact resulting from the loss of atrazine to control grass and broadleaf weeds in corn, sorghum and sugar cane would be in excess of $2 billion per year if atrazine were unavailable to growers.” (U.S. EPA, Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision, January 2003)

Growers know from experience the value atrazine brings to their operation.  Please leave me a note about how atrazine helps you.

Weed competition steals wheat yield

Apr 20, 2010
Gordon Vail
I’ve mentioned the importance of herbicide application timing to control competitive weeds in corn and soybean to protect yield. And similar practices can help protect wheat yield. Although the window of application is wider with some herbicides, timely applications are still critical. 
According to research from North Dakota State University, the time of removal of wild oats in spring wheat can make a big difference in yield. Wild oats that emerge with the crop and are removed at the 3-leaf stage can cut yield 8 to15%. But, if those same weeds are left until the 5-leaf stage, yield loss reaches 25 to 35%. Wild oats left until the flag leaf stage cut yield 65 to 75%. 

That’s a big difference.
Scouting and careful timing are also important because spraying before the 3-leaf stage with a herbicide that doesn’t have residual activity leaves the crop vulnerable to later flushes of wild oats.
Every crop has a critical development period when it is most vulnerable to yield loss. Make sure that’s the point in time you are protecting them.

Think Timing to Increase Profits

Apr 16, 2010
Eric Tedford
What if there was a trick to winning in the stock market; and no matter when you sold stock, you always made a profit? If there was, I’d probably be retired on a beach somewhere...

Luckily for corn growers, making a true return on your investment is not as risky as playing the stock market. Application timing of products, such as a fungicide, play a major role in the growth and development of crops. By adhering to proper application timing recommendations and growing conditions, growers can capitalize on the advantages of protecting your investments.
I’m sure you hear it all the time – scout your fields. But the truth is, scouting can save a lot of time, money and energy in the long run. Managing expectations is the name of the game, and reviewing historical disease patterns will help you gauge diseases that you may see in your area. For diseases that have been a problem in the past and may reach threshold, scout fields to keep track of disease pressure early in the season.
Speaking of early season, research has shown that azoxystrobin at a rate of 6 oz/A applied at the V5 growth stage in corn has several benefits, including preventive disease control and enhanced physiological benefits potentially leading to an increase in yield. One of the reasons this application timing proved successful is because it protects during the critical phase when corn plants are determining leaf and ear shoots. The research also showed that when an azoxystrobin application was followed by a later application of azoxystrobin and propiconazole at the R1 growth stage, an incremental yield increase was achieved.

How did you get plugged in online?

Apr 13, 2010
Anthony Transou
Since you are reading this blog post, at some point in time you got plugged in to the information superhighway known as the World-Wide Web. And you are also likely a member of the ag industry, which has waited for this technology to get to them (literally).
That leads me to a couple questions. How do you access the Internet? Do you have a high speed connection? How long have you had it? Have you used dial-up connections?
And perhaps even more interesting, how did you get here in the first place? Were you looking for information on your own? Did your kids or grandkids need to get online for school? Did a friend point you to information online? 
Some growers started keeping records on computer decades ago, and their use of the Web has grown naturally with advances in technology. Other operations have had a member of a younger generation join and introduce the Internet. Still others were looking for a competitive edge to improve their business, and getting online was a logical option. 

I’d love to hear your stories about how you got plugged in online...

Kochia confirmed glyphosate-resistant in Kansas

Apr 09, 2010
Chuck Foresman
Recently Dr. Phil Stahlman, a Kansas State University weed scientist at the research center in Hays, confirmed that there are kochia populations resistant to glyphosate in Kansas. Both greenhouse and in-field studies showed that glyphosate-resistant kochia is a reality.
Kochia has been a tough – and important – weed to control in the western Corn Belt for years. Now, growers concerned that they may have glyphosate-resistant kochia will need to plan ahead to manage it. Stahlman and his colleagues recommend a two-pass weed control program that includes a pre-emergence residual herbicide that controls kochia. They also recommend using full herbicide rates. He noted that areas that first saw glyphosate-resistant kochia are areas where reduced glyphosate rates are often used. 
My colleagues in Kansas have both a pre-emergence and a post-emergence recommendation for glyphosate-resistant kochia in corn.  
In corn, just one uncontrolled kochia per square yard (about the area of a hula-hoop) can cut yield nearly 10%. In soybean, that same weed can cost 33% of your yield, according to
Are you dealing with glyphosate-resistant kochia?

The difference a day makes

Apr 06, 2010
Gordon Vail
Controlling weeds early in the season is critical – because not controlling weeds in time is costly. How costly? Some excellent research from Michigan State University shows what a difference a day can make in controlling weeds in corn and soybeans.

A four-year study examined how long it takes weeds to grow to a certain height. They found that, in general, weeds grow from 4 inches to 6 inches in just two to four days. Then they looked at crop yields based on when weeds were controlled. The results are fascinating.

According to the data from Michigan State, controlling weeds in 15-inch soybean rows when weeds were 4 inches tall resulted in a 5 bu/A yield loss. Waiting a couple more days to control weeds when they were 6 inches tall resulted in a 10 bu/A yield loss. That’s a lot of yield in just a couple days – up to 2.5 bu/day.

In corn, the difference was even more dramatic: Controlling weeds at 4 inches tall resulted in no yield loss, but waiting to control weeds when they were 6 inches tall resulted in an 18 bu/A loss. That’s a loss of as much as 9 bu/day. 

This research backs the Syngenta recommendation to control weeds in both corn and soybeans by the time they are 4 inches, or to rely on pre-emergence residual herbicides so early season competition isn’t an issue.

There are good pre-emergence residual options in both corn and soybean. What are you using to protect yield from weed competition this spring?

Combating wireworm pressure in wheat and barley

Apr 02, 2010
Palle Pedersen

WirewormSome wheat and barley production areas have seen a sharp increase in wireworm populations over the past few seasons. And these bugs can be devastating as they feed on seeds and roots. Irregular emergence and bald spots in fields can indicate insect pressure problems, and growers have reported up to 80 percent stand/yield loss in areas because of wireworms. 
A seed treatment insecticide that includes thiamethoxam is a great way to protect wheat and barley from wireworms and a variety of other early-season insects. Plus, protected seed emerges more quickly and uniformly.Wireworm
Quick emergence and vigorous stands are especially important in dryland production, so that the crop gets off to a strong start. And a strong start increases yield – and profit – potential. 

Be on the lookout for problem areas in your fields, and work with your agronomist to scout, if needed.
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