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April 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.

Weed Watch: Fickle winter weather favors shifting weeds

Apr 23, 2013
Mother Nature is keeping winter wheat farmers on the edge of their seats as they watch the weather and plan spring weed management programs. A remarkably warm early winter gave growers high hopes for crop yields, coupled with concerns about weeds benefitting from the same good fortune. Weed competition is often a top issue for wheat growers, as it robs plants of precious water, nutrients and sunlight; however, it can be especially devastating during drought years, when dry conditions have already taken a toll on crop yield and quality. To complicate weed predictions further, the temperature freezes that took hold in the middle months of winter, along with the lack of consistent insulating snow cover, may already be giving spring weeds an advantage.

WeedWatch wheat

North Dakota State University associate professor Kirk Howatt explains, "Due to the open snow cover we’ve been seeing this winter, weeds may get started earlier this year. When the ground is showing, we sometimes get a flush of weeds that come up and become established." Howatt says that this winter the Northern Plains seems to be in a weather cycle fluctuating from cold to exceptionally cold temperatures. While the weather trend has been steady for a few weeks, he adds, "There have also been years when February was warm enough for early emerging spring annuals, or later emerging winter annuals to become established, even when the ground was still fairly frost-bound. Scouting over the next few weeks will help us determine if that was the case this year, too."

Syngenta recommends diversity, integrated management to combat weed competition
Jill Herold, a Syngenta agronomic service representative in Montana, advises growers to use an integrated approach for spring weed management. "Utilizing chemical products alongside tried and true cultural practices has become the key to managing weed competition."In regard to weed resistance, Montana is in a similar situation to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region. According to Herold, this year the main weed threats to western winter wheat in the Northern Plains are kochia, foxtails, barnyardgrass, wild oat, brome grasses, and most recently, hawksbeard.

"Hawksbeard acts like a winter annual," she explains, "so it’s going to be one of those early weeds and we’ll have to watch for its emergence. It can be easily mistaken for prickly lettuce or several other broadleaf weeds, so we’ll have to keep an eye out for it."
Herold recommends applying Axial® XL herbicide to protect against foxtails, wild oat and barnyardgrass, while using Axial® Star cross-spectrum herbicide for its unique strength against kochia. For difficult grasses in the brome family, Herold suggests that using Sierra can help, adding that it is also very effective on wild oat and foxtails.

Weather and weed forecasts

In the PNW, Syngenta agronomic service representative Donald Drader from Washington is seeing similar weather patterns. "The weather this year has been cold," he says, "with less than average snow fall to date. Hopefully we can anticipate some additional precipitation as the weather warms up so we have adequate soil moisture."
Drader explains that wheat growers in the PNW are monitoring their fields for tough-to-control grasses such as wild oat and Italian ryegrass. Since grasses are showing increased resistance to Group 1 herbicides, Drader says, "Wheat growers need to look for additional tactics to manage their resistant grasses in the fall. In addition to their crop rotations and fall tillage practices, they may want to make an application of burndown products, such as Touchdown® brand herbicides or Gramoxone® SL 2.0 herbicide after the grasses have germinated, but prior to wheat emergence. They can also utilize fall-applied herbicides with different modes of action and follow up in the spring with grass herbicides like Axial XL and Sierra, or a grass-broadleaf herbicide like Axial Star.
He adds, "Broadleaf weeds are also being carefully watched, especially in areas with high resistance. Growers and retailers are doing an excellent job of tank mixing two or more broadleaf herbicides to control a wide spectrum of different weeds." Weeds to watch for in the PNW include: wild oat, foxtails, Italian ryegrass and brome grasses.

Investing in the future to grow more wheat
Herold also encourages growers to keep an open mind about cultural practices, such as tillage and crop rotation to stop resistance from evolving. "Tillage is definitely something to consider, though it depends on the area and the moisture." Herold says growers should consider adding it to their program, not necessarily every year, but as a part of the long term plan. "We are relying on one solution when we should be looking at them all," she explains. "We need to blend in more cultural practices to find an innovative approach for the challenges the coming years will bring."

This winter’s fluctuating temperatures and inconsistent snow cover are complicating weed management plans for spring, however regardless of geographic region, wheat growers are focusing on similar strategies. While a large part of planning spring weed management has been learning from the challenges and successes of the past, in recent years growers have been pushed to incorporate new solutions to growing problems like kochia management and herbicide resistance.
Syngenta and university experts recommend an integrated approach to weed management that incorporates both chemical application and cultural practices such as crop rotation, tillage and thoroughly cleaning farm equipment to prevent the spread of seeds. By being diligent with a wide variety of management practices, winter wheat farmers across the Northern Plains and PNW can grow more wheat by eliminating weed competition no matter what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.

©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. Gramoxone SL 2.0 is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Axial®, Gramoxone®, Sierra, Touchdown® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

Dive Into Thrive!

Apr 22, 2013
Syngenta invites you to spring forward with the latest issue of Thrive, our agronomic-focused magazine filled with technologies and strategies that can help you succeed in today’s complex marketplace. Inside this issue, you will learn how to manage emerging weed, insect and disease resistance issues more effectively; see how fungicides can help crops stand up to seasonal stresses, including drought; and discover how agriculture is adopting innovative ways to communicate online via mobile and social media properties. 

Have we piqued your interest yet? Well, how about participating in our online scavenger hunt for a chance to win a $50 Cabela’s® gift certificate!*
For all this and more, visit www.SyngentaThrive.com.

©2013 Syngenta. Thrive® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Cabela’s® is a registered trademark of Cabela’s Incorporated. *No purchase necessary. See Of­ficial Rules for more details. 

25 years of CRW control: A Force® to be reckoned with

Apr 08, 2013
For decades, the battle against the "billion-dollar bug" has raged across the Midwest. And although corn rootworm and the technologies used to control it have changed, one thing that Midwestern farmers have been able to rely on for 25 years is the consistent control provided by Force® soil-applied insecticide.

ForceOnTrait Roots 2
Caption: Force + CRW Trait (left) vs. CRW Trait Alone (right) 

Jim Plummer, an Iowa retailer agrees.  "I have seen excellent rootworm and early-season pest control in the fields I have scouted since Force insecticide came out and I am extremely happy with it."
Bt corn rootworm traits provide farmers with a convenient method for controlling corn rootworm; however, recent instances of unexpected corn rootworm damage and difficult-to-control populations have shown the value of applying Force insecticide to Midwestern corn acres, perhaps now more than ever.
"As a leader in corn insect control, we’re committed to sustainable, long-term management of corn rootworm, and for the last 25 years, Force insecticide has been a proven and reliable tool for effective corn rootworm protection," said Geoff Lower, insecticides product lead with Syngenta. "Force is an important product in our portfolio and it will continue to be a key part of our customers’ rootworm management strategies as we help them grow more corn."
In addition to consistent CRW control, benefits for farmers from Force include:
  • Stronger root systems that maximize the corn plant’s uptake of water and nutrients
  • Increased standability for a faster, more efficient harvest
  • Flexibility to choose the application method and equipment that best fit their operation
  • Simplicity to use any herbicide program
 "Syngenta recognizes the importance of adding value for our customers, and for the last 25 years, Force has done just that."

©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. Force 3G and Force CS are Restricted Use Pesticides. Force® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. 

Spring wheat 2013: Best practices in the Pacific Northwest

Apr 03, 2013

Although a relatively small percentage of the region’s cereals market share, spring wheat is still a key crop in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) – particularly for growers who are in a three-year rotation.

"It offers a good rotational value with the winter cereals, offering opportunities for weed control that wouldn’t come through a wheat fallow rotation," said Richard Smiley, professor of plant pathology at Oregon State University.
For those growers planning to plant spring wheat in 2013, Don Drader, Syngenta agronomic service representative in Washington, offers the following recommendations.

PNW spring wheat
Preparing to Plant
Start clean – To optimize seed emergence, prepare a fresh seed bed and clean up troublesome weeds. Better to get a leg up on managing weeds early than having to deal with them later. For better weed control, use a quality burndown, pre-plant or pre-emergence herbicide. Gramoxone® SL 2.0 herbicide delivers outstanding burndown control of broadleaf and grass weeds, providing fast and effective results even in cool, wet weather conditions.
Consider your tillage options – For fields that are covered in weeds, conventional tillage is an appropriate option. But barring those difficult circumstances, growers should consider their alternatives. Reduced-tillage practices not only reduce fuel and labor needs, they also preserve moisture. Ridge-tilling, meanwhile, can help reduce wind and water erosion in fields. "Spring cereals actually fit into no-till cropping systems very well," Smiley said.
Selection and Protection
Variety is your friend – Experts suggest that one of the best ways to prepare for the growing season comes during the seed purchasing process. Choosing to incorporate multiple seed varieties – and thus spreading risk – can help minimize the impact of the season’s inevitable unpredictability. In addition, planting certified seed varieties helps ensure genetic purity, smoother plantability, seed vigor and early germination and emergence.
Begin protection at the seed level – A quality seed treatment can help prevent insects and diseases from damaging crops and reducing yield potential. It also can help improve crop stand establishment, which has been shown to lead to more vigorous crops that are better able to protect themselves against adverse weather conditions throughout the season. The result: increased yield and profit potential.
"A great option for spring wheat is the addition of Vibrance™ seed treatment fungicide," Drader said. "For growers in the PNW, Vibrance (sedaxane) will be available as part of a custom blend offer that also includes Dividend® (difenoconzaole) fungicide, Apron XL® (mefenoxam) fungicide, Cruiser® (thiamethoxam) insecticide and ipconazole. We’ve customized this offer to deliver a robust product solution that addresses PNW growers’ need for a formulation that offers industry-leading protection against Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Pythium."
Stay Ahead of Pests
Use multiple modes of action – To combat early-season weed pressure, growers should select herbicides with different modes of action, especially as weeds start to show signs of resistance. Syngenta, for example, offers Sierra™ herbicide as a complement to Axial® XL herbicide, providing a new resistance management tool and offering customized weed control solutions.
Remember "3:3:1" – Here’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind: A 3-inch weed in three days will use 1 inch of moisture.
Don’t let pests take over – Spring wheat in the PNW is susceptible to diseases such as powdery mildew, rusts, and tan spot, which is why growers should plan for an early application of a fungicide like Quilt Xcel®. "Quilt Xcel combines the proven performance of two leading brands to deliver long-lasting, broad-spectrum control of diseases," Drader said. "It also provides enhanced physiological benefits to help the crop better deal with stress throughout the growing season." And don’t forget about insects. "You don’t want pests such as aphids, cereal leaf beetles and grasshoppers to threaten your yields, so you’ll want to consider foliar applications of an insecticide like Warrior II with Zeon Technology®," Drader explained.
Be proactive in your fields – Frequently scout for disease and insect pests. This is critical to stay ahead of outbreaks. Also consider tank mixing insecticides and fungicides with a herbicide application, as this will maximize the value of trips through the field.
At the core of all of this, Drader said, is that preparation is extremely important this time of year.
"The weather usually lends a helping hand in in the PNW," he said. "That said, growers should still take care to help their fields fully realize the potential this good fortune provides them."
For more agronomic advice, visit www.cereals.farmassist.com. To follow the experiences of cereals growers across the country, visit www.VoicesAcrossThePlains.com.
Fungicide performance assumes disease presence.

©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.

Gramoxone SL 2.0 and Warrior II with Zeon Technology are Restricted Use Pesticides.
Warrior II with Zeon Technology 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.
AgriPro®, Apron XL®, Axial®, Cruiser®, Dividend®, Gramoxone®, Quilt Xcel®, Sierra™, Vibrance™, Warrior II with Zeon Technology® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.
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