Corn Producers Should Think About Early Insect Control

Jack L. Baldwin, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  2/4/2006 3:37:54 AM

News Release Distributed 02/03/06

Corn producers should think about early-season insect control to help establish healthy stands, says LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Jack Baldwin.

"As the corn planting season approaches, Louisiana producers should consider the need for some form of soil insecticide at planting to protect seeds and seedling plants from soil insects and other early-season insect pests," Baldwin advises. "With early planting and windows of planting opportunity both at a premium, it is important to establish and maintain a healthy stand from the initial planting."

The LSU AgCenter entomologist explains three forms of soil insecticides generally can be considered – granular and liquid in-furrow treatments, seed treatments and liquid foliar sprays applied at planting.

"Depending on the need or anticipated insect problems, two of these methods can be used in tandem to obtain a broader spectrum of control," Baldwin says. "For example, an in-furrow soil insecticide or a seed treatment can be applied with a banded spray behind the planter."

The in-furrow soil insecticides recommended by the LSU AgCenter include Lorsban 15G, Force 3G, Counter 15G, Thimet 20G and Aztec 2.1G. The liquid in-furrow treatments include Capture, Regent 4SC and Furadan 4F.

"All of these products are recommended for control of southern corn rootworm, which normally is a bigger problem in reduced-tillage fields when corn is planted soon after weeds are killed with a herbicide," Baldwin says. "These products also have various degrees of effectiveness for other early-season insect pests that can threaten a corn stand."

Furadan, Lorsban, Counter, Thimet, Regent and Aztec are recommended for chinch bug control, according to Baldwin, who adds that Lorsban, Force and Aztec are recommended for cutworm control. Regent also provides control or suppression of first generation corn borers, he says.

"The neonicotinoid seed treatments are a recent development for early-season insect control in corn," Baldwin says, explaining the LSU AgCenter recommends three of these products – Poncho 250, Cruiser and Gaucho – for chinch bug control.

Poncho and Cruiser are available only on commercially treated seed. Gaucho can be applied as a commercial seed treatment or it can be applied by individuals.

"These seed treatments also have activity on other insects, but their effectiveness depends on the treatment rate," Baldwin says, explaining the recommended seed-treatment rates for Poncho 250 and Cruiser are relatively low and that the Gaucho rate is only in the mid-range. "Therefore, these seed treatment rates may provide suppression of other early-season insects such as cutworms, sugarcane beetles and stink bugs, but they are not recommended for control of them."

The foliar insecticides applied as banded sprays behind the planter are primarily for cutworm control, according to Baldwin, who says this pest normally is a bigger threat in reduced-tillage fields and usually is already present when corn seedlings emerge.

The recommended products for this use include Capture, Asana XL, Pounce (permethrin), Warrior T, Mustang Max and Baythroid. These insecticides can also be applied as post-emergent rescue treatments, Baldwin says.

For more information related to agricultural production and a variety of other topics ranging from food and health to lawns and gardens, visit www.lsuagcenter.com.

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Contact: Jack Baldwin at (225) 578-2369 or jbaldwin@agcenter.lsu.edu
Editor: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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