Recent moth trap reports from Syngenta agronomists in Kansas indicate there will be significant corn earworm activity across the western Corn Belt this season. In eastern Kansas, Syngenta agronomists have seen up to four to five times the number of moths this year compared to last year, with corn earworm feeding already reported.
Moth trap counts are a good way to identify locations where eggs may have been laid as well as regions that are at higher risk of future damage from the newly hatched larvae that like to feed on young corn plants. Increased levels of moth flights are often the first sign of heavy egg-laying and possible infestations later in the season. The high corn earworm trap counts mean growers should scout fields now to determine if treatments are needed to avoid yield damage from this pest.
Corn earworm is one of the most destructive members of the multi-pest complex, a collection of above-ground corn pests that can cause significant economic losses due to their abundant numbers and the destruction they can cause throughout the growing season. While there are chemical applications available to help combat corn earworm infestations, the application window for such products is narrow and challenging to time correctly. As a result, growers still need to be diligent about monitoring fields for this pest to best minimize potential yield loss, disease susceptibility and grain quality damage.
"With the high corn earworm trap counts we've seen, growers should start scouting now to determine if they need to take action against this pest and protect yields," said Mark Ellis, agronomist for Syngenta Seeds. "Growers who planted hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack should see their corn stay pretty clean even if they have the corn earworm larvae in their fields."
The Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack combines the Agrisure Viptera trait with the Agrisure3000GT trait stack to provide unsurpassed control of 14 above- and below-ground corn pests along with glufosinate and glyphosate tolerance. Corn hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack have an in-seed defense against the multi-pest complex, which includes black cutworm, corn earworm, fall armyworm, Western bean cutworm, dingy cutworm, stalk borer and sugarcane borer, among others. Syngenta estimates damage from these pests costs U.S. corn growers 238 million bushels of corn and $1.1 billion in annual yield and grain quality losses.1 In field trials, the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack nationally delivered a 7.3 bushel per acreadvantage under ear-feeding insect pressure.2
Syngenta received deregulation from the USDA for the Agrisure Viptera trait in April 2010. In addition to being approved for cultivation in the U.S., the Agrisure Viptera trait is approved for cultivation in Canada, Argentina and Brazil. It also is approved for import in the key markets of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan.
Currently, the Agrisure Viptera trait is available in hybrids under the Garst, Golden Harvest and NK brands from Syngenta and will also be made available through more than 125 local and independently owned seed companies. Growers should contact their local Garst, Golden Harvest, NK or independent seed company representative to find out where they can view hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait in action at Syngenta field trials this summer.