It’s that time of year again---everything in our fields are changing so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up. One of those things that can change rapidly is our insect pressure. This week I want to talk about the early season challenges we typically can deal with, and how to scout via process of elimination, our current insect pressure and making good scouting decisions, and the benefits and timeline of protection our insecticide seed treatment gets us.
1. Early season insect pressure
Early season insect pressure is critical to scout for. Not only should you be checking for damage above ground, but also below ground. Insect pressure will come from both ways. Take stand counts and evaluate what has emerged compared to what you planted. If you are seeing some lower stands, try to diagnose the issue. Was it a planter issue? A depth issue? Or perhaps, is it insect damage from our below ground culprits like wireworms, grubs, and seed corn maggots? This is a good chance to work through your check list and by process of elimination determine what the cause may be.
2. Current Insect Pressure
Currently, we are seeing damage from wireworms and grubs around the area. We are also seeing damage from bean leaf beetle. While this pressure isn’t more than normal, it is important to take a good look at areas where we are seeing this damage and determine if there is any cause for replant, and take note of where these insects are causing damage for future years. Also remember, if you have untreated seed, and are seeing foliar damage, a much smaller amount of feeding can equal a much larger defoliation amount. Smaller plants means shorter timeframe before insects reach a critical defoliation threshold. Conversely, plants are also growing at a fast rate, so try to take into account the amount of new leaf surface area the plant is putting out each week.
3. Pioneer soybean seed treatment.
Seed treatment is an effective way to get your seed the best chance of survival. Pioneer seed treatment contains fungicide, insecticides, and biological treatments. Here is a breakdown. Lumisena is a fungicide treatment that protects against phytophthora. EverGol Energy is another fungicide treatment. L-2030G is a biofungicide that works against pathogens, and helps promote the root systems natural defense system. Gaucho is an insecticide treatment that protects against bean leaf beetle, seed corn maggots, and aphids. It also controls insects that can later spread viruses like bean pod mottle and soybean mosaic virus.
4. Seed treatment effectiveness
Seed treatment covers a very critical growth window for seedling germination and early season growth. Protection during this window is one of the more important things you can do to get a uniform stand. Protection for most seed treatments is around 10-14 days. However, Gaucho provides protection for up to 30-40 days. This extended window is an ideal amount of time for plants to germinate and still provide extended early season protection as the plant is established.