Agronomic Recommendations from Syngenta

Syngenta Crop Update: With winter wheat breaking dormancy, what are the next steps for growers?

As temperatures rise and winter wheat continues to break dormancy across the country, Syngenta reminds growers to keep a close eye on their crops to identify early signs of disease that may reduce grain quality and yield potential. It is important to watch weather patterns and plan ahead to protect wheat fields from pest threats that diminish wheat quality and yield potential. Utilizing an integrated management approach helps boost crop productivity and grow profitable wheat.

Our Syngenta agronomists can provide tips and agronomic recommendations for ensuring maximum yield potential and are prepared to offer local recommendations that address the following:

  • How will the 2015-2016 winter weather impact the remainder of the season?: Although weather conditions across the winter wheat growing region have varied greatly during the winter months, Syngenta suggests the same key management practice for all growers: start scouting and making preventive fungicide applications now to prevent disease damage, mitigate environmental stress and grow more wheat.
  • Scout early and often: Scouting is important at multiple stages of the growing season, and it’s best to start early. The first scouting trip should be to identify the pest species already present. After initial product applications, remember to scout two to three weeks later to ensure good control has been achieved. Maintain consistent scouting practices throughout the season, and increase the frequency as needed during times of high pest pressure.
  • Identifying winterkill injury in wheat: With limited snow cover this past week, growers may be concerned about the possibility of winterkill and poor wheat stands this spring. Wheat growers are encouraged to identify winterkill damage and to then employ appropriate follow-up actions.  Experts note that it is often difficult to distinguish between the damage from winterkill and damage from other potential problems, including snow mold, barley yellow dwarf virus, salt damage, frost injury or even Pythium.
  • Evaluating the degree of winterkill injury in wheat: To manage the effects of winterkill, growers must evaluate the degree of winterkill injury in their wheat and adjust next steps accordingly.  Symptoms to observe include: plants with one or more dead leaves; patches of dead plants in the field; tiller development without accompanying root system growth; and wilting, yellow and dying of some leaves after spring green-up.  Growers are urged to wait until plants break dormancy and fields begin to green up before finalizing any replanting decisions.
  • Make preventive fungicide applications: Considering the early widespread presence of rust this season, getting ahead with a fungicide application is particularly important. To help mitigate stress from diseases like stripe rust, Syngenta recommends making a preventive fungicide application, such as Trivapro™, Alto® and Quilt Xcel®.
  • Minimize crop stress, eliminate weed pests: Determining which weeds will make an appearance from year to year is quite difficult to predict, but by monitoring their presence and making timely herbicide applications growers can help to maintain and improve crops’ performance. For season-long control, growers can turn to Amber® herbicide, a reliable, economic choice for long-lasting control of more than 50 tough broadleaf weeds.
  • Benefit from plant growth regulators: Growers increasing nitrogen rates for higher wheat yield tend to have plants with bigger heads. The bigger the head, the more it weighs, and while that’s good for yield and profit, it puts more stress on the stem and increases the likelihood of lodging. Plants that endure high winds and heavy rain are similarly prone to lodging, which can slow harvest and reduce yield by 10 to 40 percent. To strengthen the crop’s ability to withstand these conditions, consider an application of a plant growth regulator such as Palisade® EC.

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