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May 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.

Options to manage soybean cyst nematodes

May 24, 2011

Dr. Palle Pedersen

Unless you are a nematologist or paid really close attention in college classes, it’s likely that your introduction to nematodes was information about soybean cyst nematodes (SCN). These microscopic, thread-like worms form tiny cysts on soybean roots, and can cut into plant growth and yield.
Although many soybean varieties now have SCN resistance, SCN still accounts for significant soybean yield losses. Crop rotation is a commonly recommended control option, and it helps to a certain extent, but it does nothing to protect against the many other species of soybeanematodes that also feed on rotational crops such as corn. Another option for SCN protection is choosing a seed treatmentthat includes a nematicide, with activity against SCN infestation, and other nematode species, as well. 
Do you have SCN in any of your fields? How to you manage them?

Palle Pedersen, Ph.D., Technical Manager, Syngenta Seedcare

Dr. Palle Pedersen, Syngenta Seedcare technical manager, is responsible for technical seed treatment development for corn, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers and canola. Previously, Palle spent seven years as an associate professor at IowaStateUniversity where he coordinated and provided state leadership in soybean production and management, splitting his time between extension work and research. Palle received his undergraduate degree and master’s degree in agricultural science from the Royal Veterinary and AgriculturalUniversity in Denmark, his master’s in agricultural economics from Wye College, England, and his doctorate in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Be Prepared to Scout for the Bean Leaf Beetle

May 17, 2011

Dr. Roy Boykin

As we approach the summer months, be alert as temperatures and bean leaf beetle populations begin to rise. After overwintering in leaf litter and soybean residue, bean leaf beetles may already be emerging as they typically begin to appear in April and May. According to Kansas State University, the bean leaf beetle is one of the most economically harmful soybean insect pests in the country due to damage from foliage- and pod-feeding adults, which can significantly reduce seed quality and yield. It may be difficult to recognize this destructive insect as it can appear in a variety of colors and patterns, including red, orange, tan or gray and have dots, stripes or both. All adults possess a black triangle at the base of the forewings which is the easiest identification characteristic. 

Take note of the above description as it is important to scout diligently for bean leaf beetle this season. Due to the unusual weather patterns caused by the La Niña effect, it has been difficult for researchers and agronomists to make confident pest predictions. It is possible the weather patterns in some areas protected the bean leaf beetle from the typical harsh winter conditions that work to diminish its population, which could result in higher than normal infestations.
Adult bean leaf beetles can cause complete pod loss by feeding at the base of the pod, known as pod clipping. Moisture can then enter through the pod lesions caused by the pod clipping, allowing the entry of pathogens such as the bean pod mottle virus and southern mosaic virus, which can cause further yield loss. Be on the lookout for round holes between the major leaflet veins of your soybean leaves as this could be an indicator of bean leaf beetle feeding.

The University of Missouri Extension recommends scouting for bean leaf beetle begin as soon as soybean seedlings emerge. If you see signs of an infestation, it is important to note that various sampling methods and economic thresholds are used to trigger insecticide applications for bean leaf beetle, so check your local university extension for appropriate application information. When application is warranted, give your fields the best protection from bean leaf beetle by selecting an insecticide with three industry-leading technologies that offers long residual control for higher potential yield and profit.

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.

Delayed-planted Corn Still Benefits from Fungicide Application

May 11, 2011

Eric Tedford

The 2011 growing season got off to a slow start as wet weather and cold soil delayed corn planting across the Midwest. This has left many growers wondering if a foliar fungicide is still necessary for late-planted corn.

In most cases, the answer is yes. The chances of foliar diseases and stress developing in corn can increase with later planting, resulting in an even greater benefit from using strobilurin fungicides.
When a foliar disease infects a corn plant in its early reproductive growth stages, it increases the chance there will be a negative impact on yield. Disease infections are more likely to occur in the warm and humid summer days, so when corn is planted later, corn will hit its immature growth stage during this high-risk time. Some diseases, including gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and rusts, are most destructive when established in plants at or before tasseling, which is likely to happen when corn is planted late. 
Northern corn leaf blight tends to enter fields later in the season, often only causing minimal yield loss when corn is planted on time or early, as in the 2010 season. However, this disease can be extremely harmful if it strikes when plants are still in the immature stages of development. According to the Compendium of Corn Diseases published by the American Phytopathological Society, if northern corn leaf blight “is established before silking, losses in grain yield of up to 50% may occur. If infection is moderate or delayed until six weeks after silking, yield losses are minimal.”
The risk of gray leaf spot infections also increases when corn is planted later in the season, according to studies by the University of Illinois Extension. Other diseases, such as common and southern rusts, may also infect corn during earlier stages of development before resistance to these diseases has been established.
Even in the absence of disease, using a strobilurin fungicide in the early vegetative stages or at the R1 growth stage improves plant growth processes and reduces the impact of environmental stress, resulting in physiological plant benefits. The high price of corn and the odds of disease risk increasing with late planted corn means a more profitable return on investment with the use of a fungicide. So protect your crop and your wallet with a well-timed fungicide application.

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.

Make the “wait and see” approach to weed control work

May 03, 2011

Gordon Vail
Your agronomist, retailer, consultant, crop insurance rep and many others likely recommend planning ahead for next season. And that’s good advice.  But it isn't always possible, especially since the weather is so unpredictable.

If you are more of a “wait-and-see” manager, you can still make at least your weed control program work. If you prefer to “wait and see” what shows up in your field before spraying, start with a pre-emerge residual herbicide.  Even with limited time this spring, it can be worth the effort.
Pre-emergence residual herbicides make choosing between and 1-pass and 2-pass herbicide system a realistic possibility. With early season weeds out of the way, you can scout to see if a second application is needed. Even university weed scientists note that good pre-emerge programs can sometimes eliminate the need for additional post applications.
Note that whatever your approach to this late spring, you should probably still give your crop protection dealer a heads-up, so they are prepared to “wait and see” with you.

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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