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Posted 12 July 2010. PMN Crop News.

Scout Corn to Protect Yield and Prepare for Next Season

Source: Dow AgroSciences Press Release.

Indianapolis, Indiana (June 24, 2010)--Many growers in the Corn Belt are experiencing the superior insect protection and high yield of MYCOGEN® SmartStax™ hybrids for the first time this season. However, regardless of which hybrids growers planted this year, vigilant season-long crop scouting is a key success factor to maximize whole-farm yield potential.


“Scouting corn is a season-long activity that growers should do every seven to 10 days,” says Byron Hendrix, Mycogen Seeds customer agronomist. “In addition to insects, that means scouting for weeds and diseases that can wreak havoc on yield potential. By monitoring the pressure of all threats, growers can respond with appropriate treatment plans in a timely manner.”

In terms of insect control, many growers experienced protection against black cutworm (BCW) for the first time this spring when planting SmartStax. “If growers didn’t have HERCULEX Insect Protection in their previous hybrids, they may notice extra yield protection from their SmartStax hybrids this year,” he says. “Although the BCW threat has diminished by this time of year, it’s important to note if BCW approached or met economic thresholds in the fields.”

Corn rootworm (CRW) is another pest of concern, and it can continue feeding later in the season. “Growers need to be diligent about scouting all season long, or they may not realize the full risk of insects such as the CRW.

“Since this is the first year that growers have dual modes of action against CRW, it will be interesting for growers to compare their notes from last year to see how SmartStax compares with first-generation, singular modes of action.”

“The western bean cutworm (WBCW) is another key threat. As it continues to spread farther east, it will be damaging more corn in more areas. WBCW can annihilate the ear in the fall — again making it important to scout all season long,” Hendrix says.

“Growers should keep diligent scouting notes in their crop records, including observations about emergence, early season vigor, standability and drydown. This work will make it easy for growers to select the right hybrids for their acres for the next growing season,” he adds.

Weed and disease identification is becoming easier every year. University websites have great photography to help growers identify problems in the field. A lot of images can be loaded onto mobile phones or laptops to carry into the field for easy identification.

Regardless of the crop, scouting all season long is key for crop success, and it helps growers to make the best hybrid choices for next year relative to insect, weed and disease pressure.

For tough weed, insect and disease problems and questions, Mycogen Seeds customer agronomists are available to help. The staff of experienced and knowledgeable agronomists can be consulted about issues on local and regional levels. For solutions to agronomy problems, look to Mycogen Seeds customer agronomists. To connect with your local Mycogen Seeds sales representative or agronomist, call 800-MYCOGEN.

SmartStax™ multi-event technology developed by Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto.

®™MYCOGEN, the MYCOGEN Logo and SILAGE-SPECIFIC are trademarks of Mycogen Corporation.

®HERCULEX is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. HERCULEX Insect Protection technology by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred.

™SmartStax is a trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC. Always follow grain marketing and IRM requirements and pesticide label directions. B.t. traited products may not be registered in all states. Check with your seed representative for registration status in your area.

©2010 Mycogen Seeds. Mycogen Seeds is an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC.

Casey Mattke