Managing Plants

Chemicals For Corn, Soybeans, Enhance Plant Performance


    Plant performance on corn, soybeans and wheat was a topic discussed recently by Sarah Gehant, Technical Support Representative for Syngenta for the states of Kentucky, Southern Illinois, and Southern Indiana.

   “As we try to maximize yields with the current high commodity prices, growers are managing their crops with early season weed control, seed treatment, and insect control,” she said. “In addition, growers are focusing on managing their crops later season, through the reproductive stages of the crop. Late season is when the plants are doing the most reproductive work of their lives. That process can be enhanced with Quilt on corn, and Quadris on soybeans.”

   On soybeans the application is Quadris at six ounces applied at R3. At this stage, the plant is at the mid-point of pod development. That’s when the soybean plant is setting up to keep as many pods as possible and fill those pods to the largest size beans with the largest test weight.

   “Our goal is to keep the plant from being negatively impacted from disease and insects, with Quadris in combination with Warrior II for Japanese beetle, aphids and corn rootworm adults,” Gehant said. “On average over the last seven years, we have maximized yields to the tune of about five to six bushel per acre.”

   Stress in general can cause soybeans to lose pods. This includes excessive heat, lack of moisture, disease and insects.

   “Lack of moisture, insect damage and disease pressure will cause soybean plants to abort pods all the way up through R5 which is pretty far along,” she said. “So if we can keep the number of pods consistent on the plant, maximize and then protect those beans within those pods, that’s what we’re trying to do to maximize yields. Our goal is to eliminate as many stressors as possible so the beans are set up to maximize yield.”

   “When you move into corn it’s the same deal,” she said. “With Quilt we target our timing through the R1 stage because that’s when the corn plant is doing the most reproductive work of its life. Something to consider is if you plant your corn at 30,000 population and that plant produces three kernels more per ear, that is an increase per ear of a bushel per acre.”

   Growers should begin applying Quilt when they start to see silk, and continue applications through brown silk.

   “On corn, most of the Quilt applications are going on by air because of the height of the plant,” Gehant continued. “Syngenta has worked very hard with the aerial applicators to make sure that all the applicators are calibrated. They know how many acres they’re spraying per load. They use GPS so they really do a nice job. They’re flying about 140 miles an hour and they’re 14 feet over the canopy.”

   Gehant said it is more difficult with the smaller fields such as those in Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana.

   “Applications are more difficult and a number of our retailers in those areas are using helicopters,” she said. “The cost for the recommended rate of these chemicals is $13 to $14 an acre for either Quilt or Quadris.

   “Also, because of the insect pressure present in both crops, Japanese beetle, corn rootworm adults, grasshopppers, stinkbug in soybeans, we’re recommending Warrior II, which is our new formulation of Warrior for 2008,” she said. “It’s basically twice as concentrated as last year’s formulation. So we’re looking at one and a half ounces of that to control the insects which are also feeding on the reproductive part of the plant.”

   Syngenta is traditionally the largest fungicide company in the world, which includes disease control in corn, soybeans and wheat.

   “Now, as growers see the value of these crops increasing, they’re wanting to maximize yields and their profitability on these acres,” she added. “These products are a major item that farmers need to consider.” Δ

MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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