The evolution of corn rootworm control and Force
Corn insect control is a moving target, and sometimes the answers aren’t as simple as they might seem. In recent years, unpredictable weather, increased pest pressure and unexpected damage in rootworm-traited corn have confounded corn insect control strategies. Although corn rootworm management has evolved over time, one constant in the fight for over 25 years is Force insecticide.
“Corn rootworm has been a challenge for corn growers since the late 1950s,” said Chuck Foresman, Syngenta global corn crop protection R&D lead. “And since its introduction in the late 1980s, Force has provided farmers with control of corn rootworm and other pests, resulting in reduced lodging, faster and easier harvests, and higher yields.”
As farmers plan for the 2014 growing season, Syngenta recommends the following strategies for corn insect control in areas where corn rootworm is expected to be a problem:
- Taking a multi-year, whole-farm approach
- Rotating to a non-host crop, where that is an option
- Integrating multiple measures of control
- Using corn hybrid stacks with two corn rootworm traits
- Applying a soil insecticide or seed treatment
“Corn rootworm control is not one-size-fits-all,” Foresman said. “Rotation to a non-host crop is the first option for farmers seeking to break the corn rootworm cycle. Effective corn rootworm management will require a multi-year plan, incorporating the integration of multiple control measures, not merely employing a single technology. Understanding the complexity of corn rootworm will help farmers choose the right approach for their farm.”
Force Insecticide Team: The People Behind the Progress
Foresman has been part of a select group at Syngenta who have worked with Force insecticide since its inception. In the summer of 1980, he spent time digging up corn roots to test the efficacy of Force insecticide as a pre-registration compound. “It’s been a very robust compound, and after nearly three decades, Force remains an effective tool for corn insect control,” he said. “We’re very pleased it’s a product growers continue to rely on.”
Foresman and his colleagues have seen Force evolve from a new control option to a trusted resource, especially now through its use on rootworm-traited hybrids. When applied to hybrids that contain a single mode of action against corn rootworm, for example, Force can help increase corn yields by an average of 10 bushels per acre.