Calling all Western Bean Cutworm Scouts

If you are planning to scout for this important pest this year make sure your counts are sent into WBC Trap Network in Ontario. For information on how to do this please visit Baute Bug Blog.


Early Planting Soybeans: Tips

Planting date: The calendar is not as important to observing ‘Mother Nature’. Soil temperature, 10 day forecast and soil conditions are more important than the calendar date. Research in the past few years have shown that earlier planted soybeans (May 1 – May 15) have preformed better than later planted. Soil Temperature – Soil temperature during the first 24 hours is critical to soybean emergence and vigour. Avoid planting soybeans when the soil temperature is below 10o C (50o F). Soybeans that absorb cold water during the first 24 hours are at a greater risk of poor germination and vigour. Soil temperature is usually 2 – 3 hours delay to air temperature. If you are planting into marginal soil temperature it is better to plant later in the day and watch 24 – 48 hour forecast in regards to temperature and avoid planting prior a cold forecast. For more information on soil temperature and soybeans check out:

Seeding Rates – For early planted soybeans Use the recommended rate for the row width you are planting. Cutting rates is not recommended.

Seed Treatment – Planting into cooler soils will increase the risk of seed rots, seedling diseases and seed corn maggot. Due to the slower emergence of the soybean, the seed is exposed to the pest longer. Use seed treatments (Apron Maxx or Cruiser Maxx) to reduce the risk in early planted fields.

Planting Depth – Uniform seed depth is important. It is important to get the seed planted into moisture due to the high moisture required to swell the seed (50 % of its weight). The goal is place the seed approx. ½ inch into moisture. Ideal Planting depth should be between 1 – 1 ½ inches but anywhere from 1 – 2 ½ inches will work. Beans planted a 3 inches and deeper are at risk of emergence problems.

Soil Moisture Management – Wet soil conditions often lead to compaction (sidewall, surface) problems, deep planting issues and the seed trench opening up. When planting into wet soil conditions rolling or packing should be delayed to prevent compaction of the soil surface. When planting into dry soils it is very important to conserve the moisture by using the packer/roller during tillage and right after planting. Also, it is very important to not to over till the soil and/or till the soil to far ahead of planting as this practice may over dry the seed bed.

Have a safe planting season.

Corn planting tip – Watch maturities

It is a funny time of year to discuss corn maturity but as we make our final plans for spring it is important that we realize the factors that go into assessing corn maturity and the difference between physiological maturity and dry-down. Corn maturity starts after pollination and is complete at physiological maturity (black layer). Imagine the kernel as a glass and at pollination the glass is full of water. For the next 55 – 60 days we keep adding pebbles (starch and protein) to the glass (kernel) displacing water till the kernel is full. When the kernel is full of starch and protein and the maximum amount of water is displaced (there is still water between the pebbles (starch)). The kernel then full forms a layer of cells (bottom of the kernel) that turn black/brown forming what is called the black layer. The moisture of the kernel at this point is approximately 28 – 35 %.
What factors affect the rate of water displacement in the kernel?– Heat and sunlight
– Insects and disease – European corn borer, stalk rots, crown rots, rust
– Frost
– Cold weather – 4 to 5 days where maximum temperature does not exceed 130 C.
How do we get the rest of the water out of the kernel? Evaporation. The measure of moisture at harvest is a measure of dry down or the rate of evaporation of the remaining water from the kernel. Factors affecting the evaporation are: Thickness of pericarp (thin skin on the kernel), Kernel type (flint vs. dent), starch density (bu. weight) environmental (humidity), husk type/amount and ear orientation (by hanging down the ear sheds rain/dew accumulation)
How do we assess corn maturity?
Many factors are considered such as flowering (pollination) date to black layer formation and dry down. The most important is black layer compared to similar maturing products. Moisture is used to predict maturity but is more relevant when the harvest moisture is over 28 % moisture.
Taking it to the field A excellent corn year, such as 2010, often will skew corn maturities. It is important to not get caught planting too many late day varieties the following year. Maximum yield is produced with early planting dates for all the corn hybrid maturity groups (short, mid and full season). However, the yield reduction with delayed planting is the greatest with the full season hybrids compared to earlier maturing varieties.
At NK Brand we feel it is important to select a risk-free seed portfolio allowing you to manage the environmental risk of the growing season. By planting a 20:60:20 (short:mid:full season) maturity portfolio manages risk. When planting this type of portfolio, plant the full season varieties first, then the mid season and lastly the short season varieties. For maximum corn yield, all groups of hybrids should be planted as early as possible. Full season variety selection should include varieties that exhibit early flower and fast dry down traits. It is also important to have a late planted short season variety with the same characteristics.
Work with your seed specialist or NK Brand representative to build your corn portfolio.

Maximizing Yields with Spring Planter Care

contributed by: Shawn Brenneman, District Manager

All the planning that goes into a successful crop – seed choice and positioning, fertility and chemical programs, crop budgets and marketing plans – has been done. You’re ready for spring. Or are you? A little bit of preventative maintenance now on your planter will not only help ensure more trouble free time spent in the field, but will also start the crop off to achieve maximum yield potential.

Careful attention to your planter and the calibration of your seed units can often improve yields through even spacing and consistent depth control.

Here’s a quick list of some of the major points to consider when getting your planter ready for the field.

Before heading to the field
• Check and replace all worn out parts: seed meter components, chain links, disc openers, hydraulic hoses, seed tubes.
• Check that planter units are level to the ground when in operation (can affect disc opener depth, press wheels, seed to soil contact).
• Ensure that coulters and disc openers are aligned accurately – proper alignment improves accuracy of seed furrow opening.
• Lubricate drive chains. Worn, stiff or loose chains can cause a pulsing pattern in the placement of the seed.
• Inflate tires to proper specifications. Over or under inflation of drive tires can affect the transmission speed and seed dispersal.
• Calibrate pesticide and fertilizer planter attachments since application rates can easily change from year to year.
• Clean any hoses and seed tubes. Spider webs and mouse nests can trap seed and result in uneven spacing.
• Check the bottom of the seed tubes. Improper wear can affect the seed trajectory resulting in uneven seed spacing.
• On finger planters, check the finger pickup backplates for rust and seed treatment build-up.
• On air or vacuum planters, check all seals, gaskets and alignment of tubes if the planter folds for transport.

In the field
• Planting speeds should typically not exceed 5-6 mph, otherwise proper kernel metering and seed to soil contact could be impacted.
• Check the actual depth of seeding regularly. Actual seed depth can vary from targeted planter setting as soil conditions change.
• Be sure to clean out hoppers between changes in herbicide tolerant varieties. especially those that are glyphosate tolerant (GT).
• Use graphite or talc where needed to help lubricate the seed and reduce seed treatment build-up in the meter.

Consult your operation manual for a more detailed list of preventative maintenance tips specific for your planter.
Have a safe and productive spring.

Agrisure Viptera Experience

I had a chance to sit down with Grant Ozipko, Agrisure Trait Marketing Manager to discuss the results of Agrisure Viptera in the US and the new traits from Syngenta Seeds. Youtube link
A number of US growers had a chance to grow and see Agrisure Viptera 3111 in 2010 through Agrisure Experience Program. This gave them firsthand experience with the control of Agrisure Viptera on pests such as corn earworm, western bean cutworm and black cutworm on their farm. They were so impressed many of them came back this year and purchased hybrids with Agrisure Viptera trait for the 2011 growing season.
Why should I grow Agrisure Viptera? Peace of mind that you have a product that provides more control of more insects than any other product on the market. What can we expect for control and yield results? Syngenta testing has shown Agrisure Viptera had a yield advantage of over nine bushel per acre across all trials in 2010 when compared to smartstax products.

Agrisure Viptera will be the foundation of refuge reduction products from Syngenta. For Canada registration is expected for a refuge reduction product in 2012. It will be called Agrisure 3220 which gives two modes of action against broad lepidopteran insects and two modes of action against corn borer. It is this product that will allow reduced refuge and ultimately a refuge-in-a-bag product (when approved).

What is in the Agrisure pipeline? The pipeline has a full line of refuge reduction trait stacks including that can be used in rootworm areas. Agrisure Artesian is Syngenta water optimization platform that uses multiple traits to provide hybrids a chance to manage drought throughout the season.

Thanks Grant for your time.

Speciality Soybean Update.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Bruce Irons, Speciality Soybean Manager with Syngenta Seeds Canada and discuss the Speciality (IP) soybean market for 2011 and the future. Reduced premiums in 2011 are mainly due to the full pipeline of clear hilum soybeans for the Japanese market. The oversupply according to Irons is due to the increased acreage planted in 2009 and the high yields of soybeans over the last couple of years. This has led to a soft market, reduced premiums and less acres contracted in 2011. There has been increase shipments into south-east Asia and that market is opening up for speciality food soybeans. This market is generally very price sensitive and uses dark hilum lower value soybeans. Reduced premiums and oversupply of food grade soybeans are driving this market.
The high soybean price on the CBOT has that affected the IP market? Irons feel that it has in that growers may ask themselves if it is really worth growing an IP soybean and the extra work and cost that is required. Canada is recognised for producing high quality, high protein soybeans and to be able to provide soybeans in this niche market and it would be disappointing to lose our global competitiveness and leadership by moving away from the IP market in the short-term. Why should you grow an IP soybean over a glyphosate tolerant soybean? Three main reasons – protect our niche market that we have established, help reduce the threat of glyphosate resistance weeds and yield. OOPSCC trials in 2010 show that on average the conventional soybeans yield approximately two bushels more than the glyphosate tolerant soybeans.
What can we expect in 2012? The exporters have communicated to Irons that expectations are to return to a normal demand and premium as seen in the past.

For the full interview click here or watch on YouTube : IP soybean interview – January 2011.

Not all Genes for Western Bean Cutworm the same

We have seen the same results as described in the article attached. Under significant ear-feeding insect pressure, hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack averaged 7.3 bu/ac better than hybrids with the Agrisure® 3000GT triple stack. In fact, hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 stack outperformed their Agrisure 3000GT stack counterparts in all geographies and insect pressures, delivering a 4.4 bu/ac yield advantage.
“Our 2010 trials included a range of geographies and a range of pest pressures,” says Bruce Battles, head, Agronomy Marketing with Syngenta. “We saw clean ears from the Agrisure Viptera trait in all of them, but of course the difference was most pronounced in plots that experienced heavier pressure. In those instances, there was no question which trait package was delivering better control.”

As compared to other competitive traits, the products with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 stack out yielded Pioneer® brand hybrids by an average of 9.7 bu/ac. The trials also demonstrated a 9 bu/ac yield advantage versus competitive DeKalb® brand Genuity™ SmartStax™ offerings, and 12 bu/ac over competitive DeKalb hybrids with the VT Triple PRO™ trait stack.
C.O.R.N. newsletter article – Western Bean Cutworm Myth #4: All transgenic corn varieties are effective against western bean cutworm

1 Syngenta strip trial with hybrids of similar RMs, adjusted for moisture to +/- 3.

© Copyright 2011 Syngenta Seeds Canada, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 55440. Agrisure®, Agrisure Viptera™, NK® , and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Herculex® is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences, LLC. Genuity®,SmartStax™, DEKALB®, and VT Triple PRO™ are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Pioneer® is a registered trademark of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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