The first seed treatment nematicide for use on corn has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
AVICTA seed treatment, by Syngenta Seed Care, will be demonstrated in cooperation with seed companies in large on-farm plots this season and then will be launched commercially in 2010.
AVICTA will be offered in combination with Cruiser seed insecticide and seed treatment fungicides for early-season use.
"The combination of AVICTA, Cruiser and the Syngenta Seed Care corn fungicide package will be the only seed-delivered technology that offers growers triple protection against nematodes, insects and diseases," says Mark Jirak, crop manager with Syngenta Seed Care.
Nematodes, as more corn producers are finding out, aren't confined to soybeans. Many different species of nematodes live in U.S. corn fields and have increased in population in recent years. In part, that's due to changes in crop production practices and changes in insecticide chemistries.
In the past, nematodes were suppressed by widespread use of in-furrow organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Now, with the switch to pyrethroid insecticides and transgenic rootworm-resistant corn, nematode pressure may become more evident because these products lack the ability to reduce nematode numbers.
The trend to more no-till acres is a factor, since nematodes are sensitive to soil disturbance. And continuous corn also allowed nematode numbers to climb.
In 2007, Syngenta surveyed corn nematode populations, taking three samples in each Midwest county with at least 25,000 acres of corn. Based on lab results, corn-damaging nematodes were found in every county sampled.