Major price increases and the removal of chlorpyrifos as a tool, as a result of the EPA's decision to withdraw tolerances for the widely used active ingredient last year, were the two biggest changes for the '22 season on the insect-fighting front.
This season, the embargo put growers in a difficult situation as spider mite outbreaks were brought on by hot, dry weather in the western Corn Belt. According to Tyler Steinkamp, Crop Protection Product Manager with WinField United, chlorpyrifos was not only well-known for its quick knockdown and control of spider mites, but it was also nearly the only viable alternative left for alfalfa weevil and fall armyworm in the southern United States.
Broad-spectrum insecticides like dimethoate (Dimate 4E) from WinField United and some pyrethroids like bifenthrin (Tundra) are still effective against spider mites. According to Steinkamp, many are not broadspectrum and are not as easily accessible on the market, which increases dependency on the few remaining choices.
He tells CropLife® that there may not be a universally effective insecticide. "Since pyrethroid insecticides are affordable, simple to use, and generally safe, we have already begun to observe some resistance to alfalfa weevil to pyrethroid insecticides. The issue is that they are added to every load, which causes resistance to increase.
In order to get the active substance from the spur down into the canopy, Steinkamp also emphasizes the importance of adding the proper adjuvants to the tank. Making ensuring the plant is completely covered is essential because insects must come into touch with or consume the insecticide.
With the EPA's clearance, Atticus will introduce Punisher in '23, a premix of acetamiprid and bifenthrin for soybeans and maize, to assist offset the loss of chlorpyrifos. It will be critical to acquire alternatives because the chlorpyrifos inventories that people were using last year are largely exhausted, according to Mike Henderson, Executive Vice President, Ag Markets with Atticus.
Henderson claims that, despite the loss of the AI, the market for insecticides is expanding, in part because to farmers' continued evaluation of the ROI of fungicides and their employment of insecticides as tank mates in those applications as an efficiency play.
"I believe American farmers will be able to get the answers they desire. It doesn't negate the fact that there will be obstacles in the way. Overall, the industry has done a really excellent job of changing to this new normal. It's still not what it was three to five years ago, but people are adjusting, and that really doesn't surprise us, says Henderson to CropLife. In the end, our industry is fairly durable.
Henderson claims that as Atticus expands its product line, it will focus mainly on insecticides and miticides that are especially based on spinosad. Zeta-cypermethrin (FMC Mustang Maxx) and beta-cyfluthrin (Bayer Leverage) businesses will be entered by the corporation. In 23 it will also release spiromesifen (Bayer Oberon) for use as a miticide. To provide the grower and our retail partners with a growing number of solutions, we are continuing to invest in our array of insecticides.
This year, the fall armyworm traveled to Iowa, which is a circumstance Steinkamp has never encountered before. The (relative) unpredictable nature of the insect pest makes it more difficult to anticipate lead times and store products, especially for biologicals. Steinkamp continues, "Rough scouting is more important." "The issue arises when you begin to submit an application each year because resistance increases. When you're out scouting, you need to be a little bit more responsive because you won't always need to submit an application.
The majority of publications mentioned the corn rootworm pressure's upward trend, which increased demand for foliar insecticides for adults as well as on the side of soil-applied pesticides for use at plants.
According to trapping data submitted to the Corn Rootworm Adult Monitoring Network during the 2022 growing season, corn rootworm pressures in the United States will be comparable to what it has been in recent years in 2023.
According to statistics from 2022, regions near the Missouri River in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, as well as central and northern Iowa, as well as southern Minnesota, appear to be particularly vulnerable to maize rootworm in 2023.
Additional Crucial Elements
According to Ryan Wolf, Marketing Activation Director at WinField United, the cost of various chemicals increased by between 10% and 20% from the 2021 season. What is the most effective strategy for getting ready for the 23 season, taking into mind the unpredictable nature of insecticides?
"Take a look at your prior spraying practices: what you have sprayed, how many acres have you sprayed, and establish a game plan from that, taking into account your pests and treatment levels, before beginning to build a plan. If not chlorpyrifos, what are you intending to employ instead? In your warehouse, you'll need to start accumulating a small amount of merchandise that you're probably not used to.
Regarding the supply chain, all sources indicated continued advancement and foresaw few issues with providing clients with the products they require in '23.
According to FMC's David Wheeler, U.S. Commercial Director, the company has increased and diversified its domestic capacity by adding tollers and capital improvement projects to enhance its capability to formulate in the U.S. In terms of lead times, modifications to the six-month window now required (instead of the 30 days required few years ago) have been made, and things are mostly on schedule.
Retailers are stocking up on goods much early because pest pressures might be unpredictable. "We've primarily rebuilt on a lot of necessary confidence. They will receive it now or early in the first quarter as we are delivering a lot of that material, according to Wheeler. Because to the increased demand, supplies like insecticides must be produced throughout the winter, at least six to eight months before they are used.
Wheeler says, "So far, we have been able to keep up with it, but I think that might lead to overcapacity to the industry at some point."