Mid-Season Crop Protection Plans Hold Strong
Growers continue to see value in disease- and insect-control as part of mid-season crop protection programs.
SAN ANTONIO, March 20, 2014 – Despite 2014 corn and soybean price expectations of $2 to $3 per bushel below 2013 market price averages, growers say they will continue to invest in inputs this season to protect yield.
Almost 75 percent of growers surveyed at the 2014 Commodity Classic said they plan to change their mid-season crop protection programs this year, including increasing their expenditures for fungicide and insecticide applications. The survey was sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection and included 250 corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers who attended the Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, in late February.
When asked about their intention to use fungicides, 62 percent of respondents indicated they plan to increase fungicide use to protect or increase yields in 2014; 76 percent said they plan to protect crops with more aggressive foliar insect control programs this year.
Nearly 55 percent of growers expect to spend about the same for disease and insect management in 2014 compared with 2013 input costs, while 27 percent project larger crop protection investments and 12 percent expect to spend less than last year.
Scouting Is Key
Scouting continues to be an important decision-making tool when it comes to applying fungicides and insecticides, respondents said. Just over half of growers said they will use insecticides or fungicides if they see increased levels of insect and disease pressure in their fields.
More disease pressure and increased fungicide use were expected by one in three respondents (36 percent), while one in five (19 percent) did not anticipate increased pressure requiring fungicides.
“Growers understand that maximizing yield is more important than ever as prices soften from the historically high levels we saw in 2013,” said Todd Robran, portfolio manager, fungicides and insect control, DuPont Crop Protection. “Protecting genetic potential for yield from insect and disease losses delivers more bushels per acre, especially as pest pressure increases.
“Unpredictable weather conditions year after year are making diligent scouting for disease signs and insects, and consulting with local agronomic experts is even more critical as a key best management practice. Learning more about the diseases and insects that could reduce yield based on this year’s growing conditions and 2013 experience will help growers identify the best control program and choose the best timing for applications.”
Cuts Hurt Yield
Growers surveyed clearly are not looking to reduce the level of protection they have been providing corn and soybean crops. Nearly 55 percent said their insect-control programs are already minimal, so any reduction would hurt yields. About 54 percent said the same for fungicide use.
“DuPont is leveraging local expertise to help growers get the most from every acre,” added Robran. “Our innovative fungicide and insecticide products help protect yield and maximize production so growers get the optimum return from their land whether markets are up or down.”
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