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Unexpected Pests Can Eat Into Corn Profits

January 17, 2017

Planting corn hybrids without insect control traits may seem like an easy cost-savings. However, pest pressure during the season is unpredictable and can become a costly problem.

One pest that has been spreading and causing damage throughout the Midwest is Western bean cutworm (WBCW). Historically, WBCW was only a challenge for growers in the Western Corn Belt, but over the last few years, WBCW has progressively spread into other geographies.

Agronomic image of corn and WBCW

A recent WBCW outbreak was documented in a field in Shelton, Nebraska (pictured above). When left unchecked, the damage caused by WBCW can be substantial. The kernel damage caused by WBCW feeding can lead to the development of molds, which in turn can produce mycotoxins, including aflatoxin, which can reduce the quality of grain.

Agronomic image of corn and WBCW

Reduced grain quality can lead to lower prices at the elevator and for feed-on-farm operations, it can lead to decreased grain nutritional value, which can negatively impact livestock performance.

To help protect corn hybrids against the effects of damaging pests like WBCW, it’s important to choose a high-performing insect control trait. The Agrisure Viptera® trait delivers the most comprehensive control of above-ground insects, including WBCW. The photos below show how effectively Agrisure Viptera hybrids stood up against WBCW pressure in the Shelton, Nebraska field.

Agronomic image of Agrisure Viptera vs other corn hybrids

The corn ears from hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait have noticeably healthier ears with more kernels and less insect damage.

Agrisure Viptera trait stacks are an effective tool to fight outbreaks of pests like WBCW that can eat into profits. Defend your hybrid investments by planting hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait for the most comprehensive corn insect control in the industry and for more, high-quality grain and increased profit potential.

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Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.

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