Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Corn Soil Insecticide

Prairie Farmer reports that Corn Soil Insecticide Use Rises.  The article provides some good food for thought.  This is an interesting headline in the days when seed companies seem to keep adding to the traits on their traited hybrids.  The article says that insecticide treated corn acres are due to increase by 40% this year.  Researchers have found that soil insecticide in general increases corn yields by 5 to 10 bushels per acre, easily paying for the treatment and then some.  Corn following corn, refuges, and refuge in the bag products are to blame at least partly.  Does this expected increase also reflect insect resistance to Bt products.  How quickly will insects develop resistance to insecticides?  Some of the experts in the article are saying that you may not need Bt corn.  In our area, corn - soybean rotations are common and the rotation helps fight the rootworms.  We are lucky in that we do not have Western Corn rootworm beetles, at least not to any extent.  They are the ones who have evolved to live in soybean stubble as well as corn stubble.  If you are not using Bt traits, should you try to go completely non-GMO and see if you can get the premium price?  Will the seedcorn companies supply the non-GMO products if more producers want to plant them?

1 comment:

Drake Larsen said...

What a shame that we are letting chemical manufactures dupe us into using more chemicals. The recently published ISU-Marston Farm study demonstrates that lengthening rotations can increase yields and reduce chemical use. In their study of 3 and 4 year rotations they increased corn and soybean yields and decrease pesticides and fossil fuel use. Why oh why do we continue to hand money over to agribusiness when ecology will do the same things for free and add to the bottom line rather than add costly chemicals?