Growing Knowledge

Read the latest insights from our experts as they cover agronomy issues that matter most to you and your operation.

Eradicating the Fall Armyworm Near and Far

Joel and Jon
Hosts, WinField United
Host Joel Wipperfurth recently traveled to Uganda, where he judged the USAID sponsored Fall Armyworm Tech Prize. Participants were tasked with identifying potential solutions to eradicate the fall armyworm in Africa. WinField United agronomist Jon Zuk joins him on this episode of the Deal With Yield and the two dive into the domestic implications and threats of this global pest.
Season 14, Episode 3: Eradicating the Fall Armyworm Near and Far

The Deal With Yield is a podcast series covering the issues that matter most in crop production.

Answering Farmer Questions: Part One

Joel and Jon
Hosts, WinField United
On this episode of the Deal With Yield, Joel Wipperfurth and Jon Zuk answer questions they received from farmers at this year’s Commodity Classic tradeshow. The two discuss industry inquiries ranging from dicamba use to the impact of mergers.
Season 13, Episode 2: Answering Farmer Questions: Part One

The Deal With Yield is a podcast series covering the issues that matter most in crop production.

Adjuvant Helps Lock Out Insect Pressure

Darrin Holder
Agronomist, WinField
Summer brings a range of damaging insects to corn, soybeans, cotton, grain sorghum and many other crops in your fields, making diligent scouting critical. Controlling insects as soon as possible will help put them out of commission before they’ve achieved multiple lifecycles and larger populations, and before your plants reach the critical reproductive stages. This could have a positive effect on yield potential. 

Applying the appropriate insecticide can help minimize crop damage and yield loss. But don’t forget that adding an adjuvant can help increase the effectiveness of your insecticide applications.

Technologies that double-team insects
MasterLock® adjuvant by WinField United combines InterLock® and DropTight™ technologies in one crop-based adjuvant to enhance spray coverage. InterLock® adjuvant, contained in the mix, helps ensure that droplets are the right size, which reduces the amount of fine particles in the spray pattern and helps drive droplets deeper into the canopy for better deposition.

DropTight™ technology, unique to MasterLock® adjuvant, helps droplets stick to the target: the plant you are trying to protect. Together, these technologies give you a one-plus-one-equals-three benefit. They enable deposition to help insecticides stay on target, reach the pest and optimize performance.

Get pests where they live
In the heat of the day when the majority of insecticide applications are made, MasterLock® adjuvant is effective at getting deep into the crop canopy where insects are thriving — and feeding — in cooler temperatures and more humid conditions than on the surface of the crop. Be sure to determine insect pressure through not only observing the top of the crop, but also by working with your agronomist to do sweeps into the canopy. Doing both will help you get a more complete picture of your insect population and if the economic threshold that justifies an insecticide application is being met.

Ascertain the economic threshold
Work with your agronomist to determine the optimal time to do an insecticide application. Make sure you are working with the most current commodity price information to determine when you’ve reached the appropriate economic threshold for each species of pest and each type of crop. Sources for this information include your agronomist, as well as local universities and extension offices.

Make sure equipment is ready
When application timing is determined, be sure to achieve optimal product performance by working with your agronomist to select the right boom height, as well as the right nozzle type, size and pressure — so you can adjust your own sprayer or inform your applicator about these specifications.

To learn more about the benefits of MasterLock® adjuvant and how it can work in your operation, contact your local WinField® United retailer.

Alfalfa Needs Attention, Too

Glen Longabaugh
Regional Agronomist
With most farmers zeroed in on planting corn and soybeans at this time of year, it’s easy to overlook another valuable crop that’s emerging for the season ˗˗ alfalfa. While getting row crops off to a good start is essential, it’s also vital to keep an eye on alfalfa growth.

As I drove past a greening alfalfa field in southern Illinois last week, I stopped to check the new growth and found three to four alfalfa weevil larvae per stem. This early season pest, which favors new tissue in emerging alfalfa crowns, can quickly devastate the first crop and weaken the stand if left uncontrolled.

Due to the potential for heavy destruction, prompt treatment with an effective insecticide is recommended when these early pests are detected. A few tips for protecting your alfalfa crop include:
  1. Watch alfalfa fields carefully for dormancy break. As soon as green tissue emerges, start scouting fields.
  2. Check new growth across the field. As you shake alfalfa stems, flick larvae onto something with a white-colored background to determine the pressure level. Larvae are beige-colored initially, turning light green with a dark head.
  3. Determine a treatment plan. If insecticide preharvest intervals allow, spray immediately, even if you detect only a few larvae per stem, to protect the first cutting and ongoing stand health. If alfalfa is closer to harvest, cutting the crop may be the preferred control method.
  4. Choose an effective product. WinField offers several effective synthetic pyrethroid insecticides for control of alfalfa weevil larvae, including Grizzly® Too, Grizzly® Z and Arctic® 3.2EC insecticides. Consult product labels for PHIs and application rates.
  5. Check plant nutrition levels. While you’re checking for alfalfa weevil larvae, collect alfalfa stems to determine the crop’s nutrient levels. After sending stems in for NutriSolutions® Tissue Analysis, you’ll receive a plant health report and recommendations for any plant nutrient applications that may be needed to help address any deficiencies that may be keeping alfalfa from reaching its full yield potential.
Ask your local WinField retailer for more information.

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