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Can you Pest-Proof your Portfolio?

You can’t always predict pest pressure - outbreaks vary regionally and from year to year, and they can wreak havoc on the genetic yield potential of your hybrids. However, offering hybrids with Agrisure® traits can help your growers better prepare for the unexpected and protect their seed investment.

Rich Hall, head of corn genetic sales for GreenLeaf Genetics®, recently offered advice on pests to be looking out for in 2017.

“We all know pest pressure is difficult to predict,” Hall said. “Western bean cutworm made a dramatic appearance in many cornfields last year, and I would suspect that we may see that pressure increase this coming year. We also saw an increase in both European corn borer and corn earworm activity in certain areas.”

Based on 2016 pest pressure, Hall expects to see greater levels of western bean cutworm in eastern Nebraska and areas of western Iowa.

In 2016, the Agrisure Viptera® trait helped protect hybrids from damaging outbreaks of western bean cutworm and corn earworm, among others. Examples from the field showed that when compared side by side with competitive traits, Agrisure Viptera outperformed the competition and delivered better control of these destructive insects, which resulted in higher yield, higher quality grain and higher profit potential for these fields.

In Shelton, Nebraska, an outbreak of western bean cutworm caused ear damage, and led to the development of harmful molds and mycotoxins that reduced grain quality. In this area, ears from hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait were noticeably healthier, with more kernels and no visible insect damage, when compared to hybrids without the Agrisure Viptera trait. Hybrid with Agrisure Viptera Comparison 1
Further east in Columbia, Missouri, the Agrisure Viptera trait showed excellent effectiveness against corn earworm. In Syngenta trials, hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack were planted along with hybrids featuring competitive traits. Hybrid with Agrisure Viptera Comparison 2 The trait stacks in the trial all control above-ground insects, and each plot was planted at the same time, using the same agronomic protocols and crop inputs. Each plot experienced corn earworm pressure, but only one emerged without visible damage. The hybrid with the Agrisure Viptera trait stack withstood the corn earworm feeding and delivered more, higher quality grain than the competitors in the trial.

“Each year is different,” Hall said. “Protecting your hybrids with Agrisure traits helps create an ideal environment for your genetics to shine, ultimately giving your growers a great chance for a successful season. They can further cover their bases by choosing to plant water-optimizing Agrisure Artesian® hybrids that contain the traits they need.”

For outstanding above-ground insect protection, Hall recommends the Agrisure Viptera trait. It can be offered to growers in a number of trait stacks, in combination with an Artesian™ hybrid, and in both structured refuge and E-Z Refuge® products. Trait stacks containing Agrisure Viptera include: Agrisure Viptera 3110, Agrisure Viptera 3111, Agrisure Viptera 3220 E-Z Refuge and Agrisure Duracade® 5222 E-Z Refuge.