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THREE BIOTECH traits are stacked in Monsanto's new YieldGard Plus and Roundup Ready Corn 2 hybrids, which will be offered in DeKalb and Asgrow brands for planting this spring. The new hybrids provide in-seed protection against corn borers and corn rootworms as well as herbicide tolerance. Monsanto recently received Japanese approval for the hybrids.

The triple-stacked hybrids will be treated with a seed treatment for control against secondary insects such as black cutworm, wireworm, white grub and seed corn maggot.

Monsanto expects to have significant amounts of the one Asgrow and six DeKalb hybrids available for purchase. According to the company, the new hybrids were field tested last year with good results. Based on 483 comparisons of the hybrids with the triple-stack technology against the leading competitive brands, the Monsanto hybrids averaged 8.6 bu. more per acre and were 1.3% drier at harvest, Monsanto reports.



U.S. GROWERS will benefit from the harsh lessons about soybean rust learned by their Southern Hemisphere competitors. Soybean producers in Brazil have battled the fungal disease since 2001 and have learned several keys to proper treatment. Brazilian plant pathologist Alvaro Almeida recently spoke at Purdue University on what they have learned about soybean rust treatment. Almeida is a lead researcher at Brazil's National Center for Soybean Research, commonly known as Embrapa Soybean.

Fast disease ID. Almeida says that, after a field is blanketed by rust spores, it takes about 9 to 12 days for spore-filled pustules to appear on leaves. Treatment must begin at this point because by day 25, the infected crop is beyond help from treatments. When rust is detected in an area, other growers should scout their fields. Growers should check the bottom leaves initially, then move up the plant.

Correctly timed fungicides. Almeida says that Brazilian growers have spent a lot of money on unnecessary spraying. Now they know that the only way to combat the disease is with properly timed fungicide applications, which is immediately after identification and well before day 25. Two fungicide applications are sufficient, he says.

Proper spraying. The best rust control occurs when the fungicide is applied in droplets from spray nozzles traveling 11.8 in. above the plant canopy, Almeida says. Growers using spray booms should apply 47 gal. of fungicide for every 2.5 acres. Aerial sprayers apply 8 to 10.4 gal. for every 2.5 acres.

Almeida also noted that the rust infection used to occur only after plants reached the flowering state. Now it occurs earlier.

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