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Soybean Insecticide Seed Treatment Decisions

Soybean Insecticide Seed Treatment Decisions published on No Comments on Soybean Insecticide Seed Treatment Decisions

One of the most important decisions producers must make when planting soybeans in Louisiana is planting date. Soybeans have the utility to be planted in early March to late June. This wide variation in planting dates exposes seedling soybeans to a multitude of insect pests that affect both above and below ground plant structures.

Optimal seeding dates for each maturity group planted in Louisiana are:

  • Group III – April 15–May 10
  • Group IV – April 15–May 10
  • Group V – March 25–May 5
  • Group VI – March 25–April 30

Soybean seedlings possess an exceptional amount of vigor and can tolerate a substantial amount of insect injury during the seedling stage. However, early planted soybeans may also encounter greater amounts of environmental fluctuations that affect air and soil temperature. Cool conditions can negatively affect vigor and under the right conditions stall plant growth and development. The addition of insect injury, to the aforementioned  environmental conditions, increases stress the plant encounters resulting in loss of stand and yield potential. Therefore, the inclusion of an insecticide seed treatment (IST) provides growers a risk management tool when soybeans are planted early.  The primary insect pests of early planted soybeans are bean leaf beetles, wireworms and grape colaspis.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are soybeans planted late i.e. behind wheat or are late due to unforeseen circumstances such as inadequate or excessive soil moisture. These beans are more at risk for insect injury due to the potential for large insect populations to build in neighboring fields and generally more insects present in the environment. As a general rule with all agronomic crops, the later the crop the more insect pressure that will be encountered throughout the season.  This is particularly evident when soybeans are planted into wheat stubble. Wheat stubble is favorable for the development of threecornered alfalfa hoppers and thrips. Thus, an IST is a sound investment when soybeans are planted late.

However, soybeans planted in a timely manner that being within the recommended planting window, under optimal soil conditions and low pest densities will often not benefit from the addition of an IST.  Insecticide seed treatments typically produce the most benefits when environmental conditions are sub optimal as outlined in the prior paragraphs. With the current economic climate and many ag professionals looking at areas to cut inputs, justifying the use of an IST on soybeans when planted under optimal conditions becomes harder to support. Saving the cost of an IST can go to making a stink bug application later season that may provide a greater economic return.

Outside of early or late planted soybeans are situations where ISTs are justifiable. These include weedy fields with incomplete burn down applications, reduced tillage field arrangements, fields with historically problematic early insect pests (wireworms and/or threecornered alfalfa hoppers) and continuous plantings of one crop.  Each field is unique and the use of ISTs as a blanket treatment over every acre may not be justifiable with $8 soybeans.

The Value of Insecticide Seed Treatments in Corn Following Cover Crops

The Value of Insecticide Seed Treatments in Corn Following Cover Crops published on No Comments on The Value of Insecticide Seed Treatments in Corn Following Cover Crops

Cover crops can provide producers a variety of benefits from nutrient cycling and soil cover to nitrogen fixation and pollinator food sources. Cover crops come in many varieties including grasses, legumes and brassicas, however; cover crops maintain a “green bridge” throughout the fall and early spring that may facilitate the movement of pest insects into above and below ground plant structures.

Seedling corn, in Louisiana, is often adversely affected by many factors including excess moisture, cold temperatures and a complex of above/below ground insect pests. The complex of underground insects includes southern corn rootworm, wireworms and white grubs, while the above ground complex includes sugarcane beetles, chinch bugs and cutworms. Most of these insects require a food source that is present in fields for them to successfully overwinter and subsequently begin reproduction when temperatures begin to warm in the spring. The inherent benefits of cover crops often include the presence of large volumes of biomass and an abundant root structure that anchors soil or penetrates a hard pan. Yet, these attributes make cover crops an ideal source for the buildup of yield limiting insects.

Insecticide seed treatments (ISTs) are neonicotinoid based insecticides that coat the outer layer of the seed offering protection from below and above ground early season insect pests. The systemic nature of ISTs make these compounds water soluble and facilitate the vascular movement of the insecticide into the plant tissue. The value of ISTs in Louisiana varies among crops and environmental conditions, most agricultural commodities will usually not benefit from ISTs when planted under optimal environmental conditions (adequate soil temperature, optimal soil moisture and low pest pressure). However, insecticide seed treatments will typically produce an economic benefit when conditions are sub-optimal including very late or early planting, reduced tillage field arrangements, double cropping systems (soybeans behind wheat), pests that are present every year and consecutive plantings (i.e., corn behind corn). In addition to the above mentioned situations, data from the LSU AgCenter’s Macon Ridge Research Station confirmed the need of an IST when corn is planted behind cover crops (Figure 1). A statistically significant increase in yield was observed in corn treated with Poncho 500 IST in Berseen Clover, Crimson Clover and Hairy Vetch while a significantly lower yield was measured in corn planted behind Tillage Radishes treated with the IST (Figure 1). No fungicide seed treatment was used in this study. The measurable difference in yield may be due to the presence of below ground insects that also produced a notable decrease in vigor (Figure 2). Unfortunately for producers, there are no rescue treatments available for below ground insect injury in corn or any other agriculturally managed crop in Louisiana. Therefore, the use of an IST can help safely and effectively control below above and below ground insect pests in corn planted behind cover crops.

Figure 1. Yield of corn treated with Poncho 500 IST vs non-treated following cover crops.
Figure 1. Yield of corn treated with Poncho 500 IST vs non-treated following cover crops.

Aside from the use of ISTs, there are other management practices that can be done to minimize the effects of pest insects, from cover crops, on corn. Burning down cover crops in a timely fashion (6 weeks before planting) will provide enough time for available biomass above the soil to dessicate and force any harbored insects off of the plants. Yet, this timing may not allow enough time for below ground insects to cycle out or succumb to a lack of forage. Earlier burn down timings and the use of minimum tillage may allow enough time for insects to cycle out or be physically removed or destroyed with implements. If you elect to destroy your cover crops earlier than intended, check with your local NRCS representative or LSU AgCenter county agent to ensure enough time has passed that your preplant intentions are met (ie. Nitrogen fixation, nutrient cycling, etc.).

Figure 2. Vigor of corn treated with Poncho 500 IST vs non-treated following cover crops.
Figure 2. Vigor of corn treated with Poncho 500 IST vs non-treated following cover crops.

The use of ISTs is a best management practice recommended by the LSU AgCenter and will help ensure your crop is protected from yield limiting insects. The use of ISTs is highly recommended if you choose to plant corn behind cover crops particularly Berseen Clover, Crimson Clover and Hairy Vetch. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your local LSU AgCenter extension service.

Wheat Variety Performance and Production Practices in Louisiana

Wheat Variety Performance and Production Practices in Louisiana published on No Comments on Wheat Variety Performance and Production Practices in Louisiana

Please see the link below by Drs. Steve Harrison, Boyd Padget and Trey Price.

2015 Wheat Update

Transform Granted Section 18 for Control of Sugarcane Aphid in Louisiana Sorghum (Forage, Grain or Stover) for 2015 Production Season

Transform Granted Section 18 for Control of Sugarcane Aphid in Louisiana Sorghum (Forage, Grain or Stover) for 2015 Production Season published on No Comments on Transform Granted Section 18 for Control of Sugarcane Aphid in Louisiana Sorghum (Forage, Grain or Stover) for 2015 Production Season

Transform Section 18 Letter for 2015

Please follow the link above to access the section 18 letter.  The approval letter outlines the effective and expiration dates for the use of Transform in sorghum, as well as specifics regarding number of applications and maximum acreage treated in Louisiana.

If you have any questions or concerns about sugarcane aphids or use of Transform in Sorghum please contact:

Sebe Brown at 318-498-1283 (cell) or 318-435-2903 (office)

Dr. David Kerns at 318-439-4844 (cell) or 318-435-2157 (office)

Dr. Julien Beuzelin at 337-501-7087 (cell) or 318-473-6523 (office)

2015 Soybean Variety Yields and Production Practices

2015 Soybean Variety Yields and Production Practices published on No Comments on 2015 Soybean Variety Yields and Production Practices

By:

Dr. Ronnie Levy: LSU AgCenter Soybean Specialist

2015 Soybean Variety Yields and Production Practices


For more information please contact Dr. Ronnie Levy at rlevy@agcenter.lsu.edu

Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program

Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program published on 1 Comment on Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program

The Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program (LPCCP) has been established to foster cooperation among bee keepers, pesticide applicators and agricultural producers for the purpose of preventing honey bees and pollinators from the unreasonable exposure to pesticides through education and stewardship recommendations in the state of Louisiana.

Cooperative Stewardship Recommendations Adopted by the Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program

Active and Open Communication Between Farmers, Applicators and Beekeepers:

Beekeepers, farmers and applicators are encouraged to cultivate and maintain open communication between all parties involved in cooperative activities concerning farming and beekeeping. Farmers, beekeepers and applicators should exchange contact information with one another to facilitate a strong level of communication that should be present in any partnership. Basic information should include: name, telephone number (cell and home), hive locations on the property, agricultural and non-agricultural commodities grown in fields adjacent to hive locations, and information regarding the pesticides applied on these commodities or areas and application timings throughout the growing season.

“Bee Aware” Flag:

The LPCCP has elected to adopt Mississippi’s “bee aware” flag to clearly identify hive locations adjacent to an agriculturally managed crop or area. The “bee aware” flag was developed by the Mississippi Farm Bureau to increase awareness of hive locations to farmers, applicators and beekeepers. The use of Mississippi’s “bee aware” flag creates a unified recognition system that is highly visible to pesticide applicators and farmers that manage commodities across state lines. The flags should be placed in an area that is easily visible to aerial and ground applicators and serve as a reminder that bees are in the vicinity and consideration should be taken when making pesticide applications. Farmers and beekeepers should work together in deciding on flag locations so it is visible to both aerial and ground applicators.  Flag ordering information can be found here: http://www.mississippi-crops.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bee-Aware-Order-Information.pdf

Hive Locations and Placement:

Hive location is an important consideration that should be discussed between farmers and beekeepers. Farmers are very familiar with their property, equipment and areas that may offer a natural refuge from accidental exposure to pesticides, while beekeepers know the best habitats for bee yards, appropriate orientation of hives so the opening is not directly facing an agricultural field and areas that are easily accessible to beekeepers to facilitate honey collection and hive transportation. Farmers and beekeepers should discuss apiary locations and bee yards that are acceptable for both parties.

Hive GPS Locations:

Beekeepers should make every effort to establish GPS coordinates of their hives and provide this information to the farmer and his applicator to establish precise hive locations on farm property.

Hive Identification and Bee Flag Placement:

Beekeepers are strongly encouraged to place visible placards on at least one hive that provides contact information in case of an emergency or if an issue arises. The placard should clearly indicate the owner of the hives and should be visible from a distance. Farmers should work with beekeepers in selecting the best location for placement of the bee flag so it is visible to ground and aerial applicators. The LPCCP strongly encourages all beekeepers commercial and hobby to register their hives with the LDAF.

Applicator Awareness of Hive Locations:

The farmer should make every effort to notify his employees of apiary locations and related bee flags on farm property.  Farmers should also notify contractual parties and aerial applicators of apiary locations and related bee flags as well.

Annual Apiary Location Review:

Farmers and beekeepers should annually review hive locations on farm property. This is especially important if an accustomed apiary location is moved to a new location on farm. Physical locations on a map or pinned locations on a smart phone may help facilitate this process.

Pesticide Application Timing

Farmers and applicators should consider applying pesticides to areas immediately adjacent to hives as late in the afternoon as possible. Most honey bees have ceased foraging by late afternoon (3 pm) and late applications will help reduce many risks of bee injury. Pesticide applications should only be made when wind conditions are blowing away from colonies and bee yards. Label guidelines should always be followed and applications should only be made when an economic threshold is met.

Corn Harvest

Harvest Checklist for Yield Monitors and Yield Data

Harvest Checklist for Yield Monitors and Yield Data published on No Comments on Harvest Checklist for Yield Monitors and Yield Data

Harvest Checklist for Yield Monitors and Yield Data

Dennis Burns: Tensas Parish County Agent 

  • Check that all yield monitors have a list of fields, crops and varieties stored in the memory so that field names and crop information is correct and consistent
  • Always start harvest with a clean data card.
  • As harvest begins check out the yield monitor and moisture sensor to make sure that they are working correctly.  A diagnostic check should have already been performed prior to starting harvest.
  • A moisture calibration needs to be done prior to weight calibration
  • Calibration should be done after the initial start of harvest.  This will ensure that the harvester is operating efficiently for the crop being harvested.
  • Calibration procedures vary by yield monitor manufacturer.  There are several ways to calibrate a yield monitor.  The first option is to follow the yield monitor manufacturer’s directions and procedures.  Another way is to cut a full truck load of grain or a module of cotton and compare its weight to the weight on the yield monitor.  If this method is used the load needs to be the first load of the day.  By the time a truck load has been cut there have been enough variations in speed and crop conditions to produce a reasonable calibration factor.
  • Regardless of the method used to calibrate a yield monitor don’t change the calibration factor for that crop until harvest is complete or there is a large weather event or mechanical problems with the yield monitor.  This will allow the producer to do a post calibration after harvest is complete.
  • If multiple machines are used at harvest, calibration is essential to being able to get accurate yield data when they are combined into one yield file.
  • Analysis of the yield data is the last step in the harvest process.  The value of the information which can be gained from analyzing yield data is unlimited.  Drainage, irrigation, fertility, variety and other production practices can be evaluated and used in planning the next year’s crop.  Whether the producer does the analysis or hires it done, the value outweighs the expense.

    Corn Harvest
    Corn Harvest

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