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By Staff | Feb 3, 2017

And except for snow last week much of the Midwest seems to be getting an extension to this January thaw. While ice fishermen and snowmobile owners might be upset with this development most of us are loving the 30-plus degree temps compared to the steady flow of polar vortexes that had been forecast for our part of the world.

At least one thing the recent snow did was give people a chance to see how well their snow clearing equipment worked. We were beginning to wonder if we would get that chance at all during the winter of 2016/2017.

Any new news?

Typically the time period between mid-January and late-February gets very slow and very little news is reported. It is the time when decisions on herbicides and planter adjustments and new attachments are made.

The dates on the calendar keep marching past and everyone recognizes that progress of some sort needs to be made each day and week.

A new chart

In the MSU IPM newsletter there was a good Bt chart showing what different combinations of each insect resistance trait could be combined in to control targeted insects. The chart keeps changing due to the ability of the different winged critters to outthink and outfox the best plant scientist to overcome the best control ideas presented to them.

In a world where there are so many different combinations it is tough to keep track of all of them. So their insect research group compiled each combination listing their strengths as well as where resistant populations were developing.

New herbicides

Even though it has been almost three decades since a totally new mode of action product has been introduced, there is no lack of new products composed of older products.

The three that they mentioned as able to offer a sort of new activity seem in their minds to be Accuron, DiFlexx Duo and Resicore. The first is a new sulfonylurea that offers strength in controlling tough broadleaves in the Midwest.

It will only be sold in a four-way tank mixed along with three well-established products.

The second one that deserves mention may be DiFlexx Duo. It is a combination of Banvel, Laudis and a saftener. The company’s focus is controlling tough to manage broadleaves such as Palmer and a list of others.

The one new product that showed up quietly was Resicor from Dow. In a plot in western Nebraska where tough broadleaf weeds are spreading the addition of clopyralid to acetachlor and Balance gave good control of Palmer, velvetleaf and morning glory through 70 and 90 days after treatment.

Longevity of control is more important than ever as weeds are shifting to later germination times, sometimes even into mid-August. Until now the Clopyralid/Stinger was priced for thistle control and added too much cost to most mixes.

In-furrow applications

I had mentioned that now is the time to decide if this was the time to add units to the planter to permit in-furrow applications of fertilizers, minerals or biologicals.

With quite a few of these the first recommendation was to have it seed-applied. But hauling seed around and running it through another processing operation is something that many companies prefer not to be done. So that often leaves in-furrow applications as the best way to deliver an accurate amount of product where the roots can get to it earlier in their growth cycle.

This is where the Totally Tubular attachments get high grades. The other option would be to add a Dawn-type shoe that runs along and slightly deeper than the seed depth and allows a liquid product to be applied on a 2 x 2 or 3 x 2 manner. The best of these have been working well and don’t throw much dirt, instead acting more like a shark moving through the soil.

The newer seed treating futurists give high numbers when the talk about all the different products that may be applied to the seed in the future. The same thought can apply to in-furrow applications since the main rules about applying any biologicals seems to be don’t tank mix them with any harsh or salt-filled chemical, and stay away from pushing any live bugs through a high-pressure, shearing-type nozzle.

Soybean aphids

A few universities have been writing about the resistance that certain populations of soybean aphids are showing towards pyrethroids insecticides. Because those insects created such a large number of generations per season they would be the insect most likely to show this tendency.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota where our invasion of aphids seem to come from. If there is a major problem with this insect, which has not made a major appearance the last two years, what method might we use to manage the invasion?

Do we need to manage the fertility of the bean plants so they won’t be as attractive to the insects? The OP insecticides are products that an increasing number of applications don’t like to be around.


After a two-year promotional campaign, the harsh reality is that there are a few hurdles that exist with such a system. Knowing when it is right or wrong to spray based on low wind speeds is a conundrum.

Observing a 110- or 220-foot drift barrier may work, but winds can and do switch directions quickly in the spring. In a piece assembled by the University of Missouri weed specialists working with meteorologists, air inversions were discussed.

This phenomenon is when cold versus warm air masses or layers switch places as the soil surfaces warm and cool paired with the air masses 20, 30 or 50 feet up.

What we see in the spring is that cold air can flow like water carrying vapors with it. It can flow along a fence, along a ditch or along a field margin. Seeing herbicide move a half mile or more under what we considered low drift potential conditions used to be quite common.

They kept track of the number of days in part of Missouri where such inversions occurred. Their records showed inversions occurred 17 to 30 times per month in 2015 and 20 t0 27 days per month in 2016.

In one of the later developments we saw the EPA approve one company’s new Banvel formulation, but not the other company’s. Is there something here that we don’t know about that will become obvious this summer? Time will tell.

If you were able to attend the Iowa Power Farm Show this week I hope you were able to collect the information you were seeking.

Bob Streit is an independent crop consultant and columnist for Farm News. He can be reached at (515) 709-0143 or www.CentralIowaAg.com.

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