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How to determine total insect damage

Want to find out
the total damage of all pests that attack your corn?  Syngenta Seeds’ multi-pest calculator enables farmers to do
this.

“It gives you the
dollar amount of the total damage you are seeing,” says Bruce Battles, Syngenta
Seeds agronomy marketing manager.

Typically,
insecticide treatments are based primarily on damage solely aimed at a single
insect. For example, if black cutworm exceeds the economic threshold level, the
field is chemically treated. Ditto for pests like fall armyworm, corn earworm,
or western bean cutworm.

The multi-pest
calculator considers the combined value of all pests impacting corn.

“Losses become
apparent, not only from individual pests, but from the components of all the
pests occurring together,” says Battles.

Economic damage can
tally up quickly, even if none of the insects reach their individual economic
thresholds.

An example includes
the sum of three insects damaging corn on a 1,500-acre corn farm in
Indiana--black cutworm, fall armyworm, and corn earworm. In this case, the
calculator places the total damage of black cutworm, fall armyworm, and corn
earworm at $27,628.60. This is in spite of the fact none of the insects hit their
individual economic thresholds for treatment. This loss could have been avoided
had they planted an Agrisure Viptera traited hybrid, says Battles.

“The calculator
helps put a dollar amount on what a trait package can do for them,” says
Battles.

The multi-pest
calculator also can be used to determine treatment payback outside of traits,
too. For example, you can estimate what the loss will be from black cutworm
treatment by punching in the infestation level, to determine whether
insecticide treatment is the right solution based on the damage loss.

The calculator is
currently available through Garst, NK Brand, and Golden Harvest sale
representatives.

“They can plug in
information tailored for individual farmers and their regions,” says Battles.
In Iowa, for example, they may zero in on pests like western bean cutworm, a
corn insect that’s been rising in numbers in recent years. 

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