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February 2011 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.

The Syngenta Heartland Laser Tour Hits the Road Again!

Feb 28, 2011

Eric Tedford

Last year, over 4,000 people around the Midwest saw the sky light up from the Syngenta Heartland Laser Tour, and this year the tour is back with the same purpose of making science simple!

Never seen a laser show? The Syngenta Heartland Laser Tour features an exciting 30-minute show that projects animated lasers into the sky set to popular music from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and today!

The science behind the Syngenta strobilurin fungicides featured in the laser show consists of more than 20 years of research performed in laboratories, in thousands of grower fields and on more than 100 crops worldwide. Through science, these strobilurin fungicides offered by Syngenta have helped boost yield by providing broad-spectrum disease control, improving plant growth processes and reducing the impact of environmental stress.

In addition to providing an educational and entertaining show, the Heartland Laser Tour will be working with FFA chapters at 10 of the show’s locations. The students will be on hand to provide material to attendees and will have the opportunity to learn about agriculture and Syngenta from company sales representatives. At the conclusion of the tour, Syngenta will make a donation to each of the participating chapters to help support and promote the future of agriculture.

The Heartland Laser Tour kicks off March 3 in Bowling Green, Ohio. You can follow the tour through videos and photos of the events on Remember to "like" the page in order to easily return. You can also follow the tour on Twitter @SyngentaUS.

Eric Tedford, Fungicide Technical Brand Manager for Syngenta, provides technical leadership for the development of fungicides. His experience includes fungicide research and development for field crops, development of postharvest fungicides, and global technical development of fungicides. He holds bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in plant pathology from the University of Massachusetts, Clemson University, and the University of California (Davis), respectively.

Scouting for the Right Insecticide

Feb 22, 2011

Roy Boykin

Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a “How To” guide when it came to selecting an insecticide this season?  The guidelines below highlight what to look for when browsing for ways to protect soybean yield against damaging insects this growing season.

  •  Industry-leading chemistries

When searching for an insecticide that best suits your soybean fields, consider whether or not the product contains a single active ingredient or multiple active ingredients, as well as what formulation advantages it offers. Like all technology, crop protection products continue to improve all the time. Select an insecticide that provides three industry-leading technologies - two proven active ingredients and a high tech formulation. These three technologies work together to provide fast knockdown and longer residual control of the most damaging insects, providing growers with higher yield and profit potential.
(Photo: Insect-damaged soybeans)

  • Extended Residual Control
Another vital factor to consider when selecting an insecticide is extended residual control. Extended residual control is a critical factor to consider when selecting an insecticide because last thing growers want to do is invest in a product that will have hard-to-control insects resurfacing in their soybean fields. Choose a product that offers the trans-stemic movement of thiamethoxam throughout soybean leaves. Thiamethoxam quickly penetrates the outer leaf surface and once inside the leaf, it forms a reservoir of active ingredient is formed, where it is protected from environmental factors like wash off from rain and UV degradation from sunlight. This provides extended residual control of insects feeding on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces, while having minimal impact on beneficial insects as they move across the leaf surfaces.
(Photo: Bean leaf beetle)
  •  Fast Knockdown
The speed with which an insecticide takes effect is crucial when protecting soybean yield. An insecticide with quick release capsules not only allows for fast knockdown of damaging insects but also provides strong adhesion to plant surface. Growers should look for an insecticide that not only works fast but also provides long residual control of a broad-spectrum of damaging soybean pests.

Dr. Roy Boykin, Senior Technical Brand Manager, Insecticides, Syngenta Crop Protection
Roy is responsible for the technical development, positioning and product life cycle management of insecticides for all business units in the NAFTA Region.  Roy received his undergraduate education at the College of Charleston with majors in biology and business and received his master’s/doctorate degrees in entomology with minors in plant pathology and crop science from North Carolina State University.

Meet your secondary pests

Feb 18, 2011

Caydee Savinelli

Do you know what lives in your soil? A bit of scouting before planting to identify pests can save you bushels this fall.
Here are some yield-robbing “secondary pests” that are becoming more common in many fields: 
  • Cutworms in the larval stage are caterpillars that cut plants at or just below the soil line. Often plants will appear wilted or stunted with the whorl of the plant often dead or dying. Most of the plant will not be consumed, merely eaten enough near the soil surface to cause it to fall over.
  • Grape colaspis larvae are very small, grayish-white or tan, stout, curved, and grub-like, with three pairs of legs near its head. When large populations of larvae develop, lateral roots, root hairs, and soft parts of underground stems are consumed. This injury becomes evident above ground as areas of yellow and stunted plants develop; and sometimes purpling of the leaves indicating a phosphorus deficiency, along with browning of the leaf tips and edges. Injury is more severe when weather conditions retard the growth of the seedlings.
  • White grub eggs are pearly white and oval, and are laid from one to several inches deep in the soil. Larvae are white, C-shaped, with 3 pair of prominent thoracic legs, just behind a brown head. Larval root feeding can cause severe damage or death of young corn seedlings. Pruned roots cause rolled and/or discolored (yellow and purple) leaves. Plants are stunted and may die, even after the corn is 1-2 feet tall.
  • Wireworms can attack the crop as soon as seed is planted. The eggs are generally pearly white, round and difficult to see in the soil, and newly hatched wireworms are white with dark jaws. After feeding and molting several times, these larvae become hard, slender, jointed and shiny – generally orange, brown or yellow in color.  Most species tend to prefer heavy, moist soils, especially muck soils.

If you spot one or more of these insects in your field, check to see if you have reached critical populations of one, or some combination of, these pests, and consider using a soil-applied insecticide to protect your yield.

Caydee Savinelli is a technical brand manager for insecticides, responsible for several active ingredients developed and marketed by Syngenta Crop Protection.  She has focused on insect control throughout her career with Syngenta and legacy companies.  Caydee holds a doctorate in entomology from North Carolina StateUniversity.

FarmAssist on Facebook

Feb 15, 2011

Anthony Transou

As I mentioned before, FarmAssist, agronomic and marketing information from Syngenta, is now on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, you know that just by "liking" a page, you can find a wealth of information about much more than high school classmates.

Similar to, the FarmAssist Facebook 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.




Anthony Transou holds interactive marketing and social media responsibilities for Syngenta.

Control Frogeye Leaf Spot with a Fungicide that Uses an Innovative Mode of Action

Feb 11, 2011

Eric Tedford

Is frogeye leaf spot a problem in your soybean fields? Be proactive in selecting a novel mode of action fungicide in conjunction with recommended practices to better protect soybean fields in the coming months. 
First: Find Frogeye
Frogeye leaf spot is an increasingly problematic fungus for southern states, due to their hot, humid climates, according to Purdue University Extension. When conditions are right, infection can occur at any stage in soybean development and wind can spread the disease from field to field. The most common symptoms of the disease are small, yellow spots which enlarge to lesions of a grayish-brown color encircled in reddish-purple margins. Studies by the Laboratory for Soybean Disease Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign show that when these lesions cover roughly 30 percent of the leaf, leaves wither and fall prematurely. The loss of leaves inhibits the plant’s ability to reach full yield potential.
Fight Frogeye with a Systemic Fungicide
You can be proactive and help prevent yield loss caused by diseases such as frogeye leaf spot by applying a fungicide that is systemic and xylem-mobile, meaning the product moves beyond the application site, distributing itself throughout the entire plant. 
Consider a fungicide that contains azoxystrobin as the active ingredient. Azoxystrobin moves systemically through the soybean leaves and provides broad-spectrum disease control and plant physiological benefits that help plants better reach their full genetic yield potential.However, if frogeye leaf spot is the primary disease in your area, avoid the development of resistance by applying a mixture product in order to fight the disease with two active ingredients.
Cultural Practices to Keep in Mind
In addition to using this type of fungicide, also use cultural practices to help manage outbreaks of frogeye leaf spot, such as planting soybeans that are resistant to the disease and rotating/tilling the crops to reduce inoculum. 
What steps will you take this season to manage frogeye leaf spot in your soybean fields?

Eric Tedford, Fungicide Technical Brand Manager for Syngenta, provides technical leadership for the development of fungicides. His experience includes fungicide research and development for field crops, development of postharvest fungicides, and global technical development of fungicides. He holds bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in plant pathology from the University of Massachusetts, Clemson University, and the University of California (Davis), respectively.

Do you need enhanced corn insect control?

Feb 08, 2011

Caydee Savinelli

Corn hybrids with insecticidal traits have helped protect yield often lost to early-season bugs in your field. But in cases of heavy insect pressure or increasing populations of secondary pests, you may need a bit more protection than just traits. 
So how do you decide if you would benefit from a soil-applied insecticide on top of your corn hybrids? 
Consider the following questions:
  • Is there heavy rootworm pressure?
  • Do I need to manage insects with multiple modes of action?
  • Is there heavy white grub pressure?
  • Are past wireworm pressures a concern?
  • Is there potential for early-season weed competition?  (Pest population growth accelerates in early weed cover.)
  • Is there a history of grape colaspis?
  • Do I plan to plant early?
  • Are cutworms a threat?

Photo: Roots of corn rootworm-traited corn plants, treated with

soil-applied insetcide (left) compared to untreated (right).

Answering “yes” to one or more of these questions indicates that you should seriously consider adding a soil-applied insecticide to your insect management program to maximize yield potential.

Caydee Savinelli is a technical brand manager for insecticides, responsible for several active ingredients developed and marketed by Syngenta Crop Protection. She has focused on insect control throughout her career with Syngenta and legacy companies. Caydee holds a doctorate in entomology from North Carolina State University.

Weed resistance causes land values to take a hit

Feb 04, 2011

Chuck Foresman

The results of a benchmark study commissioned by Syngenta in August of 2010 validate the assumptions of many in the industry that the impact of resistance on land values has increased in recent years. During the study, 200 farm managers, rural appraisers and crop consultants across the Midwest and South were asked a series of questions regarding the impact of resistance on land values, land rental values and tenants selection. The results of the study were compared to the results of a 2006 study to evaluate the change in impact.

  • The total estimated or perceived cost of managing specific glyphosate-resistant weeds has increased from $8.00 in 2006 to $16.90 in 2010*.  
  • According to 2010 survey results, the yield loss associated with glyphosate-resistant weeds is estimated at 5.5 percent*.
  • The perceived impact of weed control practices on rental and appraisal values has increased from 5 percent in 2006 to 22 percent in 2010*.

In other words, it seems that landowners have become more aware of and more interested in the weed control practices used on their land.

The impact of resistance was brought to life in a conversation with an eastern North Carolina farmer last fall when he shared his thoughts on the topic.

“I still have pride in keeping my crop clean and landowners recognize that,” said Chris Stancill of Ayden, N.C. “I’ll give you a perfect example. I had a 15 acre field that I tended this past season that had fields on both sides of it with cotton acres eaten up with pigweed, but the 15 acres of cotton right there in the middle that I tended was clean. That landowner said ‘You put something on those pigweeds this year.’ He noticed it and it made a difference to him. And so this year when I go to rent that farm, my neighbor might offer him $10 per acre more in rent, but he knows I spent the money to keep that farm clean. And he’ll be satisfied and stay with me. So you get a benefit on that end if you have a landowner that knows what you’re doing and realizes that controlling the weeds will help him preserve the value of his land.”

* Source: Land Value Evaluation, Directions Research, August 2010

Syngenta Manager of Weed Resistance Strategies Chuck Foresman is an expert in weed resistance, having worked extensively with many universities and research associates around the globe on the subject. He holds a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Western Illinois University along with a master's degree in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin.

Take out the (weed) competition

Feb 01, 2011

Gordon Vail

Just how important are residual herbicides? Consider these facts about early-season weed control in corn with residuals:
  • Delaying weed control until weeds are 2 inches tall, yield reductions of 7 percent—or over 12 bushels per acre—can occur. 
  • Weeds consume nutrients (including nitrogen, phosphorous and water) faster than corn. Studies show that corn plants in weedy fields accumulate only half the nitrogen of crops in clean cornfields at the V2 stage. 
  • The “3:3:1” rule means in three days 3-inch weeds can remove up to 1 inch of water from the field. And competition for soil moisture and nitrogen can result in reduced grain fill, which leads to yield loss.

What other reasons do you have for relying on residual pre-emerge herbicides?

Gordon Vail, Syngenta Herbicide Technical Brand Manager, provides technical leadership for the biological development and labeling of corn herbicides for Syngenta. He holds a bachelor's degree in agronomy and a master's degree in weed science from the University of Arkansas, as well as a doctorate in botany and plant pathology from Purdue University.

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