Insect pressures are expected to vary this season. However, the lineup of pests on this year’s watch lists is why so many growers are scrambling to get yield loss prevention strategies in place.

For soybeans, Extension entomologists are watching soybean aphids, bean leaf beetles, Japanese beetles and spider mites as key soybean pests. Specific to potatoes, wireworms and Colorado potato beetle are topping their list.

“Early season weather is the driving force behind annual insect pressure,” said David Rummel, MANA brand leader. “The cool wet spring that is causing delayed planting in most areas is not ideal for crops, but a perfect set up for insects.”

With Mother Nature charting the course for anticipated insect pressures, Rummel advises growers to adopt preventive practices to “get ahead” of problems, and to consider new technology as a means to significantly upgrade their pest management protocol.  

New Skyraider

Skyraider insecticide/miticide, launched earlier this year, is an optimized formulation of proven crop protection technology that includes two different modes of action. This offering hosts an increased ratio of a pyrethroid to support rapid insect knockdown while delivering longer lasting residual — driven by the formulation’s neonicotinoid component. Offering broad-spectrum control against soil and foliar insects, Skyraider is approved for use on soybeans, potatoes, cotton and many other crops.

Pests managed include aphids, spider mites, Lygus, stink bugs and wireworms.

“This latest MANA offering will be a critical tool for growers who want protection from high levels of insect infestation,” said Rummel. “And, with two different modes of action in a single application — it’s a perfect fit in a complete insect management program.”

Also, Skyraider provides both translaminar and systemic movement, which for allows improved penetration and relocation of the active ingredients throughout the plant, including feeding sites on the underside of leaves. “With this kind of systemic activity, Skyraider has a clear cut advantage in controlling foliar insects, including aphids,” Rummel adds. “At recommended rates, it also controls mites which several competitors don’t support as part of their insect control lineup.”

Proven field success

Specific to soybean aphid control, Midwest field trials have delivered high performance ratings for Skyraider in regards to improved efficacy over market leading competitors. In side-by-side field evaluations, Skyraider reduced the average insect count per plant from 189 insects to less than 20 one day after treatment. It was determined that a competitive insectide produced an average reduction of aphids per plant from 186 insects to 51.

According to Rummel, soybean aphid outbreaks typically occur between late-July and mid-August. “The ability to predict annual soybean aphid populations depends largely on weather conditions and environmental factors,” he said. “Once an outbreak occurs, growers have approximately one week to treat with an insecticide before injury levels occur. Timing is critical for successful insect control with any insecticide."

Rummel continued by saying, that in 2013 - preventative management tactics will be required in key Midwestern locations to ensure yield protection.  “With forecasts for increased pressure, the window to scout and spray will be narrow,” he said.  “Under this scenario, Skyraider can knock back insects upon contact. Plus, it has the added benefit of residual activity - which gives growers immediate peace of mind.”

On Mid-south soybeans, Rummel said 2011 and 2012 field trials demonstrated extremely high levels of broad-spectrum insect control. He continued by calling out that test plots hosting pressure from stink bugs and alfalfa hoppers all got extremely high marks.

Convenience in handling

Skyraider’s formulation and packaging delivers simplified handling and preparation steps for growers and applicators prior to treatments. “The formulation is easy-to-use and offers a more optimized use rate while protecting the grower’s investment along with time savings,” Rummel said. “It also offers the convenience of one product for multiple crop uses.

“Skyraider is truly a premier insecticide with differentiating performance advantages,” said Rummel. “It’s also being promoted throughout the industry as one of the most powerful pest control tools available to date. Pests can’t run or hide from Skyraider – because it’s just that good.”