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Experts weigh in on the best ways to protect soybeans and cotton from yield-robbing insects from early season through the summer months.

April 1, 2024

3 Min Read
Make your first insecticide application the best
Agronomists and consultants recommend choosing an insecticide with fast knockdown and good residual protection, especially when soybean and cotton are in critical stages of plant development. Pictured above is a soybean looper, a pest that migrates north from Central and South America in the early season and often stays through the summer months. Submitted by Corteva Agriscience

Agronomists and consultants say farmers can better protect cotton and soybeans from yield-robbing pests this season by keeping this reminder top of mind: The best insecticide is the one that works the first time — and fast.  

That’s especially true in the early stages of soybean and cotton development. Young, tender leaves attract pests looking for an easy meal, which can quickly impact plant growth during the critical early stages of the season.  

Soybean loopers feed on soybean leaves, interfering with energy absorption and photosynthesis. These pests can disrupt plant development and impact yield potential later in the year.  

Hunter Bowman, Ph.D., market development specialist for Corteva Agriscience, helps Southern farmers develop plans to protect their yield potential. He says soybean loopers can be a difficult pest to control early on due to their migration from the Southern Hemisphere.  

“Soybean loopers don’t overwinter in the U.S. – they come up from Central and South America and move north into our soybean fields as the weather warms up,” Bowman said. “As they migrate, soybean loopers are exposed to a lot of older chemistries and, overtime, build up some level of resistance to these chemistries and pose a significant challenge to growers in the Southern U.S.” 

To combat this resistance, Bowman recommends producers use Intrepid Edge® insecticide when loopers hit threshold levels because of the unique mode of action and fast-acting control. Intrepid Edge insecticide combines a Group 5 insecticide — the only Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) Group 5 available — with a Group 18 insecticide to minimize resistance development. The combination also delivers fast knockdown, often within 24 hours, and residual control for longer-lasting protection.  

“For the early migration of soybean loopers, Intrepid Edge insecticide offers growers the best option for quick and reliable control that will help protect plants from yield-reducing damage,” Bowman said. “Growers can get better control of destructive pests while minimizing the impact on beneficial insects.” 

Consultant Bob Griffin of Griffin Ag-Consulting also recommends Intrepid Edge insecticide for early season thrips in cotton. When cotton is in the critical first 40-day window, thrips can quickly damage a cotton crop, especially if plants face compounding stressors or cooler weather that slows growth. In those situations, Griffin says the reliability and knockdown of Intrepid Edge insecticide is unparalleled.  

“For thrips control in cotton, Intrepid Edge insecticide is the best insecticide we have. Many of the insecticides we used in the past are not effective anymore,” Griffin said. “Intrepid Edge insecticide is very effective. About 90% of the time, we treat once and are done, especially if we have good growing conditions. An application of Intrepid Edge insecticide works really well.”  

As the season progresses, Intrepid Edge insecticide is also the premier choice for lepidopteran pests such as soybean podworm or cotton bollworm. As corn dries down later in the summer, worm pests move into soybeans and cotton, feeding on the sugars available in the pods and bolls. Bowman said this can impact both yield and quality, so growers should make sure crops are scouted regularly.  

“The good news is that with Intrepid Edge insecticide you not only get two modes of action with very fast control, but you also get residual control,” Bowman said. “With Intrepid Edge, you buy yourself peace of mind, and it can give you time to cover larger acreage if worm pressure is widespread.” 

Want to learn more about why agronomists and consultants recommend Intrepid Edge insecticide as a first line of defense against lepidopteran pests and thrips? Get more details at Corteva.us.  

 ™ ® TRADEMARKS OF CORTEVA AGRISCIENCE AND ITS AFFILIATED COMPANIES. INTREPID EDGE IS NOT REGISTERED FOR SALE OR USE IN ALL STATES. CONTACT YOUR STATE PESTICIDE REGULATORY AGENCY TO DETERMINE IF A PRODUCT IS REGISTERED FOR SALE OR USE IN YOUR STATE. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. ©2024 CORTEVA. 

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