Jeff Phillips, Tippecanoe Extension ag Educator, noticed that the corn from Seed Consultants, Inc., provided for the Farm Progress/Precision Planting plots this year was a triple stack, meaning it had Liberty Link tolerance, plus Protection to both corn borer and rootworm. Then he noticed a tag for Poncho 1250. That's when he began to wonder why such a hard core attack on insects. Poncho 1250 is the highest of three levels of seed-coated insecticide in the product line.
The 1250 product is typically applied to go after rootworms, such as in refuge corn which does not have the Bt traits. However, university tests have demonstrated for years that in the face of heavy rootworm pressure, Poncho 1250 and competitive products at the same strength will not control rootworms as well as the Bt trait, or as a good, soil-applied insecticide. So Phillips wondered why the 1250 tag was there- wasn't it overkill?
Not at all, says Dave Nanda, crops consultant. The 1250 was there because at the manufacturer's recommendation, it is applied with Votivo. This new product is geared to controlling corn nematodes. Many consultant s suspect corn nematodes are responsible for more yield loss than many think. Since sampling for them has been limited so far, it's unclear how widespread this pest may be in Indiana. They are noted to be more of a problem on lighter, sandy soils, but can also show up at economic levels in other soils, too, experts say.
In combination with Votivo, the 1250 rate of Poncho provides more protection for germinating seedlings, Nanda says. The purpose was not rootworm control as much as control of other insects, with Votivo then providing nematode control.
If your seed was treated with Votivo and Poncho 1250, tags fro these products would have been included with the required seed tag on the bag or bulk unit of seed. Companies varied in how they offered Votivo seed treatment to their customers. Most made it optional, and charged an extra fee for the addition of the seed treatments.
The catch is to pull some nematode samples this summer to see if corn nematodes are present in your fields, Nanda says. The other recommendation is to attend field days or company plots where treated and untreated seed was included. Follow the plot through to harvest and determine if there was an economical yield advantage for the Votivo/Poncho 1250 treated corn.
Nanda is director of genetics and technology for Seed Consultants, Inc. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.