As farmers prepare for a critical stage in their crop’s development when disease and pest pressure can threaten yield and profitability, the soy checkoff and its partners in the Take Action program present Pest Elimination Strategies and Tactics (PEST) Week, June 28 to July 2. This weeklong event focuses on the small steps farmers can take to mitigate pesticide resistance in real time during the growing season. Each year, PEST Week reminds farmers about the timely in-season information and resources available to them through the Take Action program to help manage pests, mitigate resistance and protect against crop loss
Each day during PEST Week focuses on a different element of managing pesticide resistance. The schedule for PEST Week 2021 is as follows:
• Monday, June 28: The focus of the first day of PEST Week is “pests to watch out for during the 2021 growing season.” This day emphasizes the importance of identifying this season’s most damaging pests, including waterhemp, frogeye leaf spot and bean leaf beetle.
• Tuesday, June 29: As drought continues across the High Plains as well as the West and Southwestern regions, many areas in the South and Southeast have received above-average rainfall. This increases the need to scout for diseases. Day two of PEST Week points farmers to resources to help them adequately monitor crop conditions.
• Wednesday, June 30: Day three is all about the importance of choosing herbicides with multiple sites of action (SOAs) and fungicides and insecticides with multiple modes of action (MOAs). To help with this, the Take Action App provides farmers with a lookup tool that recommends MOAs and SOAs across various products.
• Thursday, July 1: The fourth day of PEST Week focuses on cultural, non chemical forms of weed control — specifically, cover crops. This day focuses on the promotion of Take Action’s new suite of cover crop resources, including different species, establishment, carryover and termination.
• Friday, July 2: The last day of PEST Week will serve as a wrap-up informing farmers about where they can access information about all things pesticide-resistance management, including the Take Action app, kit (with classification charts, fact sheets) and newsletter.
Partnering with university researchers, commodity groups and leading agrochemical companies, Take Action is a resource and educational platform farmers can use to strengthen their best management practices relevant to each pest and phase of the growing season.
“As technologies improve and growing environments evolve across the agricultural landscape, it’s important to update our pest control strategies with the latest unbiased, research-proven data and recommendations to delay resistance and preserve technologies that help us produce high-quality soy,” said Tom Oswald, United Soybean Board Supply Action Team chair and farmer-leader from Cleghorn, Iowa. “Those recommendations and resulting strategies need to be diverse and specific to target profit-robbing pests on our farms.”
Pest identification is the crucial first step leading to effective control and resistance management. The second step is choosing products with multiple MOAs or SOAs to mitigate the risk of the pest evolving to overcome one particular control method. This can be accomplished easily with the herbicide, fungicide and insecticide charts and fact sheets available in the Take Action kit. The charts include lists of active ingredients, product names, economic thresholds and advice when cultural practices may be a good alternative choice.
“Multiple fungicide MOAs should be used as part of any effective disease management plan,” said Daren Mueller, associate professor and Extension plant pathologist at Iowa State University. “The fungicide lookup tool helps identify other fungicides that fall into the same MOAs used previously to avoid product overlap, which can contribute to resistance development.”
PEST Week challenges farmers to remain proactive against pests and diseases, and reminds them to get the Take Action kit by visiting the Take Action program website at IWillTakeAction.com/kit or on the go via the Take Action app for Apple or Android devices and tablets.
About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit unitedsoybean.org.
About Take Action: Take Action: Pesticide-Resistance Management is a farmer-focused education platform designed to help farmers manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance. The goal is to encourage farmers to adopt management practices that lessen the impacts of resistant pests and preserve current and future crop protection technology. The program is endorsed by major ag chemical and trait providers, experts affiliated with land-grant universities, scientific professional organizations and soy, corn, cotton, sorghum and wheat commodity groups. Keep with the latest updates by following Take Action on Facebook and Twitter or visiting IWillTakeAction.com.
To view the release online, visit unitedsoybean.org.