Channel Technical Agronomist
Compressed and negative margins are just one of many reasons to evaluate every pass made across the field. For years, farmers have utilized integrated pest management (IPM) techniques to help ensure the proper balance of beneficial pests alongside yield-robbing pests and diseases. Taking another look at your operation and planned applications could save money and protect the balance of the field ecosystem.
Of primary concern are insects and diseases. Over-application of insecticides or fungicides can drive species or race changes within the field, create resistance to those modes of action, and further reduce profit margins. Many crop species have seeds that offer genetic resistance to various insects and diseases. Crops like corn and soybean have various levels of resistance to diseases. Knowing the germplasm and ratings of the products planted in your field can help you make effective management decisions.
The timing of pest pressure occurrence and increase is important. If pest populations are building during a specific plant developmental stage that is not impacting yield or grain quality, waiting for beneficial pest populations to build may be a cost-effective method of control. IPM utilizes many types of control including chemical, biological and cultural tactics. These options should also be considered and, when possible, incorporated into production management systems. Rotation to non-host crops, cultivation for weed control, or monitoring beneficial insect populations to control spider mites are just some examples of nonchemical control options. Once economic thresholds are exceeded, evaluate and decide on the best option for your farm to rebalance the pest or disease population in your field.
Scouting and partnering with a Channel Seedsman to evaluate thresholds can be beneficial to help control costs and protect yield potential. Scouting and monitoring fields throughout the growing season can help allow for better decision-making and the ability to plan for and address any issues that may arise.
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Performance may vary, from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields.
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