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Crop roundup

Two new product registrations were announced last week. DuPont announced that Aproach Prima, a fungicide with two modes of action, will be available in 2014. Syngenta announced a new seed treatment insecticide for Argentina that will be available in the U.S. with the next 12 months. The University of Illinois also released the results from a soil testing study evaluating the current approach to potassium management.

DuPont Aproach Prima fungicide available for 2014 season
Corn, soybean, and wheat growers have a new fungicide with two modes of action to protect yield potential and address resistant fungal diseases. DuPont Aproach Prima fungicide has been granted registration approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Aproach Prima includes the same unique strobilurin active ingredient as DuPont Aproach fungicide plus triazole to deliver a second mode of action that helps manage fungicide-resistant diseases.

The dual protection offered by Aproach Prima provides preventive and curative control of diseases in corn, soybeans, and wheat, including frogeye leaf spot, a major soybean disease in the South and mid-South that has recently spread into northern growing areas. Aproach Prima also protects crops from damage due to Septoria brown spot, downy mildew, soybean rust, gray leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight, common rust, and Southern rust.

“As the threat of resistant fungal diseases continues to grow, Aproach Prima offers growers a new tool for protecting their genetic investments, especially on intensively managed, high-yielding acres,” said James Hay, regional director, North America, DuPont Crop Protection.

Systemic movement within the plant allows the unique strobilurin in Aproach Prima to prevent and control disease on all plant surfaces, even on stems and leaves deep under the canopy. The combination of two premier fungicides in Aproach Prima controls strobilurin-resistant fungal pathogens, as well as maintains plant health under stressful conditions and protects acres exposed to significant disease pressure.

Syngenta launches novel seed treatment insecticide
Syngenta announced the registration in Argentina of Fortenza, a novel seed treatment insecticide, for use on soybean, corn, and sunflowers. Further registrations are pending in multiple countries for both seed treatment and foliar uses across all major field crops. Fortenza will be available in the U.S. within the next 12 months.

Fortenza is based on the active ingredient (AI) cyantraniliprole, a second-generation diamide. It follows the 2008 launch of Syngenta’s highly successful Durivo product family, used in soil and foliar applications, and based on the AI chlorantraniliprole. Fortenza was specifically developed as a seed treatment to control lepidoptera as well as chewing and sucking pests. Fortenza Duo combines cyantraniliprole with thiamethoxam to set a new standard for early-season pest control, while complementing the performance of insect-resistant seed traits.

Study challenges soil testing for potassium and the fertilizer value of potassium chloride
Three University of Illinois (U of I) soil scientists have serious concerns with the current approach to potassium management that has been in place for the past five decades because their research has revealed that soil K testing is of no value for predicting soil K availability, and that KCl fertilization seldom pays.

University of Illinois researchers Saeed Khan, Richard Mulvaney, and Timothy Ellsworth authored “The potassium paradox: Implications for soil fertility, crop production and human health." The study involved four years of biweekly sampling for K testing with or without air-drying. Test values fluctuated drastically, did not differentiate soil K buildup from depletion, and increased even in the complete absence of K fertilization. Explaining this increase, Khan pointed out that for a 200-bushel corn crop, “about 46 pounds of potassium is removed in the grain, whereas the residues return 180 pounds of potassium to the soil — three times more than the next corn crop needs and all readily available.”
Khan emphasized the overwhelming abundance of soil K, noting that soil test levels have increased over time where corn has been grown continuously since the Morrow Plots were established in 1876 at the U of I. “In 1955 the K test was 216 pounds per acre for the check plot where no potassium has ever been added. In 2005, it was 360,” Khan explains. Mulvaney noted that a similar trend has been seen throughout the world in numerous studies with soils under grain production.
Recognizing the inherent K-supplying power of Corn Belt soils and the critical role of crop residues in recycling K, the researchers wondered why producers have been led to believe that intensive use of KCl is a prerequisite for maximizing grain yield and quality. To better understand the economic value of this fertilizer, they undertook an extensive survey of more than 2,100 yield-response trials, 774 of which were under grain production in North America. The results confirmed their suspicions because KCl was 93% ineffective for increasing grain yield. Instead of yield gain, the researchers found more instances of significant yield reduction.
Khan and Mulvaney see no value in soil testing for exchangeable K and instead recommend that producers periodically carry out their own strip trials to evaluate whether K fertilization is needed. The full paper is available as an open-access article at

Sources: DuPont Crop Protection, Syngenta Crop Protection, and the University of Illinois

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