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February 2013 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.

Row Spacing: Taking Soybeans to Astronomical Yields

Feb 28, 2013

Despite what the title may lead you to believe, we’re not going to tell you to launch soybeans into outer space. Unlike outer space, which is infinite in size, spacing soybean rows at 15 inches has proven to increase yield, according to Iowa State University Extension. That is not to say there are no similarities between soybeans and space exploration. In fact, achieving higher yields shares a lot of similarities with a successful launch into outer space. Here’s how soybeans do it:   

  • Faster liftoffs – Soybeans can achieve canopy closure more quickly with narrow rows. Canopy closure minimizes the sun’s rays from penetrating the soil’s surface. This plays an important role in maintaining soil moisture, and it becomes increasingly important during periods of drought.
  • Dodging space debris – In addition to protecting against excessive sunlight, soybean foliage may also provide coverage against raindrops. Direct rainfall often dislodges soil particles, which leads to erosion.
  • Defense against "space" invaders – Soybean canopies also act as a natural defense against weeds by shading the areas of the soil where weeds could emerge. Weeds act as "space" invaders, and they compete with the soybean plant for precious real estate, water and nutrients.
  • Fewer collisions in space – Narrow rows allow soybeans to be spaced further apart within each row. As soybeans are spaced further apart within a row, it allows for less competition for nutrients and water from neighboring plants.

    Soybean Row Spacing

Like successful space programs, new territory exploration is always the goal. By narrowly spacing rows in an agronomic program, soybeans are able to grow to astronomical yields. But to achieve these yields requires planting the right variety, which is why Syngenta offers NK® brand soybeans. NK soybeans provide high-yielding performance with lower risk to help growers start the season strong. By starting strong, you will have higher soybean yields closer than you think – no pun intended.

To access information about the broad Syngenta seeds portfolio, visit It offers a centralized location to find information about anything related to Syngenta seed brands, including variety selections and localized yield results.

©2013 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some crop protection products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status.NK® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.


Fighting the Battle Against Wireworms

Feb 21, 2013
After a challenging and drought-plagued 2012, cereal growers are eager to get back out in the fields for spring planting. Achieving a strong, healthy stand is top of mind for many growers as they finalize their plans for this year’s spring wheat crop. The first step in accomplishing this is to arm seeds with protection against yield-robbing pests, such as wireworms, that can inhibit healthy stand establishment.
Capable of reducing stands up to 80 percent, wireworms are particularly difficult to control due to their ability to withstand varying types of weather conditions.  They are also able to survive in the soil for up to five years, meaning multiple generations can be present in one field at any given time.
Wireworms can attack the seed as soon as it is planted, and severe infestations have the ability to wipe out an entire wheat crop.  And, the increase in popularity of reduced or no-tillage programs across the Northern Plains and the Pacific Northwest has created an even more favorable environment for wireworms to thrive.

wireworm AmellillusAndLcalifornicus3
Detecting Wireworms
Syngenta recommends careful management when it comes to these damaging pests, beginning with properly locating and identifying populations across the farm. Because they exist entirely underground and are extremely elusive, it’s often difficult to accurately identify crop damage caused by wireworms.  Washington State University Extension agronomist Aaron Esser recommends accurately assessing the situation and wireworm populations on site.
Wireworms feed on germinating seeds, roots and young seedlings, killing plants directly as well as creating wounds that are ideal for disease entry into the seed.  Telltale signs of wireworm feeding include:
  • Hollowed out seeds and dead seedlings
  • Stems that are shredded, but not cut off
  • Plants that are wilted and discolored, but still attached to the root
  • Plants where the central leaves are dead, but the outer leaves are still green
  • Bare patches also occur in otherwise healthy fields – wireworms tend to feed along crop rows
  • Thin stands/no stand
Assessing the Issue – Bait Balls
Bait balls can help assess where wireworm populations are located throughout a field.  They are typically made from wheat flour or oatmeal and work by releasing CO2 – which attracts wireworms looking for food.  Syngenta Canada developed this quick video tutorial about how to make a wireworm bait ball.
Bury the bait balls in 4- to 6-inch deep holes and mark them with flags.  Check the baits every four to five days to see if they’ve attracted any wireworms. Bait balls are not always 100 percent accurate; if wireworms are sufficiently fed, they may not be attracted to the bait.  Still, bait balls are one of the best means of determining the extent of wireworm populations in the field.
Esser also recommends wireworm trappings, a method in which nylon stockings are filled with wheat and corn seed and placed at various spots throughout a field to determine if and how much of a wireworm issue is present. 
Managing the Problem
Although wireworms can be especially destructive, there are options to help keep them at bay. "We know wireworms are present; that’s not a question," reported wheat grower Mike Miller of J.R. Miller Farms in Ritzville, Wash. "Our job is to prevent them from damaging seedlings so we can produce a healthy crop."
Because wireworms live underground, foliar sprays provide no control, but a quality seed treatment can help.  Seed treatment insecticides like Cruiser® and CruiserMaxx® Vibrance™ Cereals seed treatment insecticide/fungicide from Syngenta give plants a chance to develop stronger, healthier root systems capable of taking up necessary nutrients and moisture, which allows them to better sustain any later attacks by wireworms.
We have experienced up to 80 percent stand loss in some areas from wireworm pressure," reported Miller. "Now that we’ve been using Cruiser, our wheat is not only protected against wireworms, but it’s also healthier, more vigorous and emerges faster, which are my top priorities at the beginning on the season."
When wireworms absorb thiamethoxam, the insecticide active ingredient found in Cruiser and CruiserMaxx Vibrance Cereals, through contact or ingest through feeding, it interferes with the receptors in the insect that transmit the message to feed.  As a result, the pest stops feeding, and the crop is protected.Additionally, years of research have shown that thiamethoxam not only helps suppress wireworm and other insect populations but also helps produce more vigorous plants with uniform emergence.  This is known as the Cruiser Vigor Effect and has been seen on a variety of crops across multiple geographies.
"Not only are we achieving wireworm suppression, but we’ve also seen the crop emerge up to three days faster," Miller explains. "There’s no doubt in my mind that Cruiser has helped protect seedlings from wireworm pressure, as well as helped push it out of the ground faster.  Treating my wheat seed with Cruiser just makes sense," Miller continued.
©2013 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions.  Some crop protection products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties.  Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Cruiser®, CruiserMaxx®, Vibrance™ and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

All You Need is Love … or is it?

Feb 14, 2013

The sound of birds chirping can only mean one thing: spring is approaching. This season is often referred to as the season of love, and soybean aphids are no stranger to its universal language.

In fact, soybean aphids are so fluent that they’ve fallen for the soybean plant, bringing with them the threat of countless offspring. According to the Iowa State University Extension, a single soybean aphid may spawn 15 to 18 generations within one year. Considering the nature of this one-sided relationship, the soybean plant does not shower aphids with chocolates. But the pesky insect is not discouraged. Instead, the soybean plant becomes the satisfying source to the aphids’ relentless appetite. Aphids feed on the stems and undersides of soybean leaves, and have the potential to significantly diminish yields if aphid populations reach economic threshold levels.

Threshold levels may be determined by scouting fields. For the 2013 growing season, scouting for insect pests is especially important. According to the
Penn State University Extension, trends point to higher populations of soybean aphids during odd-numbered years.

MOAphids (3)

Fortunately for growers, the soybean aphid’s love for the soybean does not conquer all. Syngenta offers CruiserMaxx® Beans insecticide/fungicide, a combination of separately registered products, applied with Vibrance™ fungicide seed treatment for 2013. As a market-leading seed treatment, CruiserMaxx Beans applied with Vibrance provides superior protection against early-season soybean aphids, so soybeans can start strong. If higher populations occur later in the season, Syngenta offers Endigo® ZC insecticide. Although we don’t like to stand in the way of love, higher yields are the top priority.     

To learn more about the soybean aphid, visit Don’t forget to follow Syngenta on Twitter and Facebook.

Syngenta hereby disclaims any liability whatsoever for Third Party websites referenced herein, the operation thereof or for any of the information, interpretation, comments, or opinions expressed in any of the linked web sites.  Further, the linking to or from these sites does not imply any endorsement or guarantee by Syngenta of any of the individuals, organizations, or enterprises, or information found on their respective web sites.

©2013 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some crop protection products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Endigo ZC is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Endigo ZC is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops and weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift onto blooming plants while bees are foraging adjacent to the treatment area. CruiserMaxx Beans is an on-seed application of one of the following: CruiserMaxx; CruiserMaxx Advanced; CruiserMaxx and Apron XL; Cruiser 5FS, Maxim XL and Apron XL; or Cruiser 5FS and an ApronMaxx brand fungicide, such as ApronMaxx RTA + Moly. Apron XL®, ApronMaxx®, Cruiser®, CruiserMaxx®, Endigo®, Maxim®, RTA®, Vibrance™ and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.
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