“Generally, over the past 10 years, the Poncho and Cruiser products are very similar in efficacy.

In recent years, we’ve had some issues with the sugarcane beetle. We had a number of reports from Georgia and across the South,” says Buntin.

Adult sugarcane beetles emerge from grass and pastures, moving into corn in April, he explains.

“This is one exception where there is a noticeable difference between the seed treatments. Poncho is a bit more effective against this insect. If you have high pressure, sometimes you’ll need a higher rate than 250, and rescue treatments aren’t effective. The worst cases I saw last year were in sweet corn with no treatment on the seed.”

This past year, says Buntin, was probably the lowest stink bug year seen in Georgia in the last decade. “Southern green stink bugs disappeared last year and brown stink bugs were hard to find. Cold conditions last winter probably had something to do with it.

“With a warm, dry winter this year, this trend probably won’t be repeated.”

Looking at thresholds for treating stink bugs, it has been determined that ear development before tasseling is the critical time growers need to be looking for stink bugs and applying insecticides. During R1 and R2, the insects will feed on the kernel.

“For brown stink bug, the best product is methyl parathion. There aren’t really a lot of other good choices, and methyl parathion will be removed from the market next year.”

As for Bt corn this year, Buntin says there’s a move to stacked or pyramided products with more than one gene in them.

Many hybrids now contain Bt caterpillar trait, a Bt rootworm trait plus herbicide tolerance in a three-way stack. Products with stalk protection, root protection and herbicide tolerance include Agrisure 3000GT, Herculex XTRA and YieldGard VT Triple.

Genuity VT Triple PROTM, Genuity VT Double PROTM contain two traits for caterpillar control, the same one in YieldGard VT Triple plus a new trait (Cry2A). 

The combined traits provide good control of stalk borers and fall armyworm in the whorl, but also provide good levels of control of corn earworm in the ear.

Triple PRO also contains a gene for rootworm control but Double PRO does not have rootworm control.

Genuity SmartStax and SmartStax by Dow is an eight-gene combination and contains all the traits in Genuity VT Triple PRO plus all the traits in Herculex EXTRA.