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July 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.

Technology Thrives!

Jul 31, 2013

Syngenta invites you to turn up the technology dial with the latest issue of Thrive, our agronomic-focused magazine filled with innovative solutions that can help you succeed in today’s complex marketplace. Inside this issue, we invite you to meet a few of our experts, learn about our latest strategies for managing agriculture’s most damaging threats, and see what new technologies Syngenta is developing to help you thrive  all season long. 

We also encourage you to read it and reap—the rewards that is. Participate in our simple online scavenger hunt for your chance to win a $50 Cabela’s® gift card!*
For all this and more, visit
©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. 

Report from the field with Mike Aldinger, farmer in Iowa Falls, IA

Jul 30, 2013

Early growth stage update

We’ve seen a lot of rain on our farm this year. It started off really wet and cold, which caused some delays this year compared to last year. 
We started planting on May 14 and it took about 10 days to get the corn in the ground.  A foundation herbicide was applied right behind the planter, which gave us a little break between planting and our post-emergence application of glyphosate and Callisto® herbicide. The rain was pretty consistent after planting, and the month of June brought good heat to our corn, which helped it to grow quickly. The corn reached the 4- to 5- leaf plant stage on June 20.
A foundation herbicide was applied right behind the planter, which gave us a little break between planting and our next application, which will be glyphosate and Callisto® herbicide. We apply Quilt Xcel® fungicide to 30 percent of our corn acres, at V5 then again at tassel. These are corn-on-corn acres and I feel they need extra protection from plant stresses during important growth stages as well as the disease control provided by Quilt Xcel from Northern and Southern corn leaf blight, anthracnose and gray leaf spot. We are currently experiencing dry field conditions, but we’re still seeing good color in the corn, which tells us that the nitrogen stayed in place even after all the heavy rains this spring.
Product 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. Callisto®, Quilt Xcel® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

Insects Usher in Aflatoxin – Make it Stop

Jul 22, 2013

It’s no secret that the 2012 drought wreaked havoc on corn fields across the country.  What may be less known is the aflatoxin issue that developed as a result.  Aflatoxin is a fungal toxin produced by mold that degrades corn quality and is extremely harmful to humans and animals.  While hot, dry summers such as 2012 create ideal scenarios for aflatoxin to develop, insect damage opens the door to its proliferation.

Aflatoxin Photo  
Fortunately, there is a formidable approach to fending off this known carcinogen – ear-feeding insect control.  Insect-imposed wounds on a corn ear offer a prime entry space for aflatoxin-producing fungi spores.  Once the spores develop, the harmful toxin spreads throughout the corn ear causing irreversible grain quality and economic damage.  To limit the opportunity for insects to cause quality damage to the grain and economic damage at the elevator, an effective insect control is vital.
Of all insect control traits on the market, the Agrisure Viptera® trait from Syngenta has demonstrated unparalleled control of ear-feeding insects that open the door for aflatoxin development.  To combat aflatoxin with breakthrough insect control, use a hybrid containing the Agrisure Viptera trait. 

For more information, visit the Agrisure Viptera® 3111 website

©2013 Syngenta. Agrisure Viptera® is a trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.


Beating the Billion-dollar Beetle

Jul 12, 2013

Corn rootworm is among the most devastating pests facing U.S. corn farmers, capable of robbing farmers of more than $1 billion annually. 

Roots damaged by rootworms may be weakened to the extent that the plants lean over, or lodge. These lodged and misshapen plants often pollinate poorly, are difficult to harvest and contribute to significant yield losses. 
corn rootworm
Larval damage is most severe when brace roots are developing. Root tips will appear brown and are often tunneled into and chewed back to the base of the plant. 
Corn hybrids differ in their ability to tolerate rootworm injury and other environmental stresses. 
The Agrisure Duracade trait expresses a new protein that binds differently in the gut of the corn rootworm, providing an entirely new mode of action for unmatched corn rootworm control. The Agrisure Duracade trait will be available for the 2014 growing season as a new tool to manage corn rootworm and help preserve the viability of trait technologies.
To learn about how you can effectively control corn rootworm and grow more corn, contact your local seed advisor or retailer, or go to
© 2013 Syngenta. Agrisure Duracade™, The Alliance Frame, the Purpose Icon and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

Study up for Mother Nature’s Tests

Jul 09, 2013

You wouldn’t take a test without studying in preparation. In the same way, why go through a growing season without studying the impact of plant stress on your crops and the solutions for managing that stress? To better prepare corn, soybean and cereal growers for the fight against environmental stresses, Syngenta has created an online training module to show how Quilt Xcel® fungicide helps plants overcome the threats of too much or too little water, wind and other challenging weather conditions.

The training module teaches how Quilt Xcel improves water use by slowing water loss from the plant, strengthens stalks to prevent lodging and causes an increase in grain or pod fill for plants. Additionally, it outlines the fungicide’s dual modes of action for disease control, as well as the convenience and application flexibility benefits that corn, soybean and cereal growers receive with Quilt Xcel. 
"It’s important for growers to recognize what is happening in their fields and to understand how applications of Quilt Xcel can help shield plants against in-season stresses," said Andrew Fisher, commercial product lead, fungicides, Syngenta. "This online tutorial goes beyond simply telling growers about these benefits to actually showing how they work."
The new mobile- and tablet-friendly online tool includes a 15-minute interactive tutorial and a short quiz to test participants’ knowledge on the content. The first 500 participants will receive a $25 gift card to Bass Pro Shops.
For more information, please visit Follow Syngenta on Twitter (@SyngentaUS) and Facebook (
© 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. Product performance assumes disease presence. 

Quilt Xcel® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

Dusty white sugarbeets in the heat of summer spell trouble

Jul 03, 2013

Powdery mildew can be devastating, but also controlled, experts say

It commonly first appears as a white, cotton-like substance on lower sugarbeet leaves before spreading. Sugarbeet growers saw it last year. They know that it’s going to be back this year, and they’re certain it’ll return next year.
The soft, white fibers – signs of a fungal disease called powdery mildew – are an annual issue for Pacific Northwest and Plains sugarbeet producers. Through proper scouting, sound cultural practices and timely crop protection applications, sugarbeet growers can defeat this annual disease from the start.
Watch for signs of mildew
Powdery mildew typically infects sugarbeet crops in the heat of the growing season. It thrives under high relative humidity with highly fluctuating day-to-night temperatures after the crop canopies and row closure is achieved.
In Nebraska and Colorado, symptoms show up in late July or early August. In the Pacific Northwest, powdery mildew can infect fields a little earlier, starting in mid-July. 
The disease is invisible to the naked eye in the early stages of infection, but as it spreads over the plant, the distinctive white, cotton-like fibrous spots begin to appear on the underside of lower leaves. Severely infected fields will look as if crop foliage was covered in a white dust.
According to Oliver T. Neher, plant pathologist at University of Idaho, while powdery mildew will not cause stand reduction of affect plant growth, heavily infected fields can lose up to 35 percent sugar content under the right environmental conditions. 
Thwart powdery mildew with moisture management and seed variety
Growers can also select seed varieties that contain powdery mildew-tolerant genetics. Under certain environmental conditions, the right genetics can be enough to control the disease. Syngenta agronomic service representative James Marlatt said powdery-mildew tolerant varieties are approved annually for Central Plains growers, including Hilleshög® brand variety 9120RR from Syngenta. Syngenta agronomic service representative Glenn Letendre added that Hilleshög brand varieties PM 9172RR and 9295RR were available this year for growers in the Pacific Northwest.
A second line of defense
In addition to tolerant seed varieties, fungicides can play a role in managing powdery mildew. 
Powdery mildew can be effectively controlled when sprays are made before symptoms appear on plants and if disease pressure is high, growers should repeat applications after 10 to 21 days. Neher also recommends adding sulfur in a fungicide tank-mix solution for fungicide resistance management purposes.
Marlatt and Letendre both recommend a proactive fungicide application using Inspire® XT if growers are concerned about powdery mildew infecting their fields. "Inspire XT is probably the best crop protection option for sugarbeet growers to control powdery mildew," Marlatt said.
Powdery mildew
Photo Credit: Oliver T. Neher, plant pathologist at University of Idaho
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.
Hilleshög®, Inspire® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Hilleshög is a business unit of Syngenta Seeds, Inc.

Syngenta encourages change in corn rootworm management

Jul 01, 2013

Recently, Bt trait technology efficacy concerns in Western corn rootworm have reignited worries over agriculture’s most destructive pest. Many farmers across the Midwest have probably spent some time thinking about their corn rootworm management strategy and asked themselves some of these questions:

  • What is the efficacy of my Bt traited corn?
  • Will my current pest management strategy (continue to) work?
  • Is my management strategy maximizing my return on investment (ROI)?
AgWeb corn rootworm post
Syngenta wants to help farmers answer those questions plus a few more in an effort to help them grow more corn.
"Oftentimes we react to what we saw in the field the previous year, but we need to take a step back and start to think about a more proactive, long-term approach to corn rootworm manage
ment," said Bruce Battles, an Iowa-based solutions development manager with Syngenta.
As a leader in corn insect control, Syngenta wants to help farmers develop multi-year, whole-farm strategies for corn rootworm and pest management, based on technology preservation and the principles of integrated pest management. Syngenta invested significant resources to research best practices for corn rootworm management, incorporating valuable input from both internal and external stakeholders. As a result, it has developed a practical set of corn rootworm management recommendations to help farmers successfully control the pest and maximize productivity. These recommendations integrate multiple technologies and control measures, and represent a practical approach to corn rootworm management that any grower can adopt.
"There is no one-size-fits-all solution for corn rootworm," Battles noted. "Long-term management will require integrated solutions that incorporate multiple modes of action and product stewardship. At Syngenta, we’re proud to offer our customers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of rootworm control technologies and a commitment to responsible and effective pest management."
©2013 Syngenta. The Syngenta logo is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.
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