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December 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.

Glyphosate resistance spreads

Dec 30, 2010

Chuck Foresman

Glyphosate is one of the most important tools growers have to manage their crops -- and that won't change anytime soon.  However, weed resistance, especially to glyphosate, continues to be a real and growing problem in the U.S. 

In fact, North Dakota recently joined the list of states with confirmed glyphosate-resistant weed populations, adding common ragweed on the Herbicide Resistance Action Committee's online list.

Since 2001, Syngenta has fought on the front lines in the battle against glyphosate resistance, advising that over reliance on glyphosate herbicides would lead to resistance – and it clearly has. To combat this development, I recommend overlapping, integrated weed control strategies:

·         Rotate crops

·         Use more than one mode of action for weed control

·         Keep crops as weed-free as possible throughout the season; strive for effective, season-long weed control


 For more information, visit

Farmville Fun?

Dec 21, 2010

Anthony Transou

Just like Pac-man or Kong, today’s computer games are addictive.  Facebook has exposed millions to the rush of online games, and one of its most well known is Farmville.  Have you heard of it? 


Although it’s been around for a couple years, the Farmville buzz hasn’t faded, with the game boasting nearly 54 million monthly users.  Plus there are similar games like Farm Town and others that have a similar concept.


The idea is that anyone can farm.  Plant a crop, like strawberries or corn, and pay attention to when it needs to be harvested (often within 24 hours).  Login, harvest and earn points that you can spend on cool things like fences, pink barns, ponds, etc.  Then your agricultural feats are broadcast to all your Facebook friends with the game updates that go on your wall.


It’s a simplistic concept that has generated lots of attention.  But my question for you is, do you think games like this are good for the image of agriculture?  Or are they too unrealistic and idealistic to really educate the masses about your profession? 


Please share your opinions…

Syngenta online brand manager Anthony Transou managed the website for Syngenta Crop Protection and its latest offering, the mobile FarmAssist site, and he now manages broad online activities for the North American Region.

Do you “Like” helping the hungry?

Dec 17, 2010

David Piñon

The ongoing effort to support local food banks, Weeding out Hunger, has a new way for you to get involved:  Check out our new Facebook page – where for every 250 “likes,” Syngenta will donate $250 to local food banks, up to $1,000. 


Last year, Syngenta donated $100,898 from sales of a residual corn herbicide and nearly five tons of non-perishable food items to 78 food banks in 24 states.  The money went directly to food banks in communities where the herbicide was sold, helping those who are struggling with hunger.


During this season of giving, this is one of the easiest ways to help others – just tell us you “like” what you see from Weeding out Hunger on Facebook.  Thank you!




David Piñon, Senior Communications Manager, Syngenta Crop Protection
As a senior communications manager, David fosters brand awareness for products including corn herbicides and insecticides. He also develops agronomic communications for topics such as weed resistance and early-season weed control.

“Overlapping Residuals” Key to Problem Weed Control

Dec 14, 2010

Chuck Foresman

Weeds are getting wilier. With changes in cultural practices and weed control technology, they adapt so they can continue to thrive. 

University researchers have noted during the past decade or so that some problem weeds have developed extended germination periods. For example, giant ragweed used to be a problem early in the spring, but now the weed germinates through mid-summer. Palmer pigweed germinates throughout the growing season, and can produce viable seeds even late in the year because it grows so quickly. Plus, these species have also proven their ability to develop resistance to herbicides and significantly cut yield.
I think the best way to control such weeds is to develop an “overlapping residual” strategy. Residual herbicides are critical to control weeds that emerge over a long period of time. The herbicide begins working on weeds as they germinate, which is when they are most vulnerable. The herbicide stays in the soil for a period of time to protect crops for several weeks. 
But, with really competitive weeds like Palmer pigweed, you want to get a different residual herbicide mode of action out there before the first one runs out. You don’t want to overuse any chemistry to encourage resistance, and you want to prevent weeds from competing with the crop.
You can find recommendations for overlapping residual programs at
Are you using a program with overlapping residuals? Take no prisoners. These weeds wait for you to get comfortable, and then they pounce.

Facebook Friends

Dec 10, 2010

Anthony Transou

If you are on Facebook, you know that the site has become much more than a place to find old high school classmates. Beyond networking, there is a wealth of information you can access, just by “liking” a page. 
One of my personal favorites (although I am obviously biased) is the FarmAssist Facebook page. Similar to, the FarmAssist page is a one-stop site for growers, retailers, consultants and certified applicators developed by Syngenta. We are sharing photos, videos, highlights of what we are doing in the community, scholarship program information and more.
Check it out and let me know what you think.

2010: A Year in Review and How to Prepare for 2011

Dec 07, 2010

Eric Tedford

As the first day of the millennium’s second decade approaches, we can all look forward to a clean slate and a fresh start to a new growing season. But before we move forward, it’s important to take a look at this past year in order to properly prepare for the next.

The 2010 season proved challenging as many states faced grueling humidity and rain, others suffered from drought and nearly all endured extreme heat. The unfavorable weather created a variety of obstacles for growers, including disease in corn and soybean.

Reports from the University of Missouri say the hot, wet weather may have helped fuel the development of diseases like Septoria brown spot and frogeye leaf spot in soybean, and gray leaf spot, anthracnose leaf blight and common rust in corn (see photo). Each of these diseases reduced yields and impacted the health and strength of the plant.  


While there is no guarantee what challenges will arise next season, you can be proactive and help prevent yield loss by protecting your crops with a fungicide application. Applying a strobilurin fungicide with preventive and curative action can deliver long-lasting, broad-spectrum disease control as well as provide many physiological benefits to plants. Physiological benefits, including greener plants, fuller pods in soybean and more kernels and bigger ears in corn, can significantly improve the health of the plant even when disease pressure is low.


So, with this season’s harvest behind us, let’s look ahead to the first season of a new decade and plan to make it the most successful one yet! 


What other steps are you taking to prepare for next season?

Avoid denial

Dec 03, 2010

Chuck Foresman

We continue to hear more university experts throughout the Midwest and South say that growers shouldn’t wait to find out if weeds are confirmed resistant to glyphosate. If you’ve noticed problems controlling weeds, treat them as if they are indeed resistant to keep them under control. 
Recently this message was reinforced at an Arkansas symposium, which they called a “pigposium,” focused on Palmer pigweed control. However, the keys shared by those researchers can be applied to any potential resistance, including closely related waterhemp.
In some areas, growers have seen weed resistance explode from a noticeable patch to a disaster in just a few years. But these weeds can be managed, and disaster can be averted. Here are a few tips to embrace now, before resistance takes over fields.
  • Use a pre-emerge herbicide. 
  • Follow rate recommendations on the label. They are there for a reason. Cutting rates is a good way to develop resistance. Surviving weeds pass their tolerant genes on to the next generation, and the weeds get stronger year by year.
  • Prevent weed seed production, since tough weeds can produce thousands of seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for 3 to 6 years.
  • The difference between weed control and failure can be just a couple days. Some weeds, including pigweed species, can grow as much as 1 or 2 inches a day. Smaller weeds are more susceptible to herbicides.
  • Protect the chemistry we have. Overusing any herbicide, including glufosinate, HPPD inhibitors and PPO inhibitors, can cause resistance, so herbicides must be rotated and used wisely.
  • Control weeds in field perimeters, ditches, waterways, levees, etc. Weeds left there produce seed and can create problems for future years.
  • Understand weed germination timing. If weeds germinate throughout the growing season, overlapping residual herbicides may be needed until crops canopy.
  • Don’t forget about fields after harvest. Depending on the weather and geography, problem weeds and/or winter annuals can germinate and go to seed after harvest, so be watching for potential problems and plan burndown applications as needed.
  • Rotate crops and chemistries. Different brand names don’t necessarily mean different chemistries, so make sure you know how herbicides are working.
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