GROWERS CAN get their corn crops off to healthy, vigorous starts with one of two seed-applied insecticides available on selected Pioneer brand hybrids for the 2005 planting season.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., will offer Poncho 250 and Poncho 1250 insecticide seed treatments to meet the early-season soil and foliar insect control needs of growers across the country.

“Field reports indicate insecticide seed treatments have been extremely effective at protecting high-yielding Pioneer genetics from damaging insects during the 2004 growing season,” says Kyle Whitaker, corn technology launch manager for Pioneer. “The popularity of and demand for insecticide seed treatments among customers in 2004 shows growers appreciate the technology for its safety, convenience and effective pest protection.”

Poncho 1250, the high-rate offering, will be available for growers who have a history of challenges from corn rootworm, billbug and other early-season pests.

According to research from the manufacturer Gustafson LLC, the rate of clothianidin provided in Poncho 1250 offers control of corn rootworm and billbug similar to the control provided by traditional soil-applied insecticides.

Poncho 1250 also offers early-season control of other insect pests including black cutworm, wireworm, white grub, seed corn maggot, flea beetle and chinch bug and is a convenient, economical solution for these pests.

Poncho 250, which also contains clothianidin as the active ingredient, is also available from Pioneer. According to Gustafson, Poncho 250 will provide protection for corn against black cutworm, wireworm, white grub, seed corn maggot, flea beetle, chinch bug and other insects listed on the label, from planting up to the V4 growth stage — formation of the 4th leaf collar.

The seed-applied insecticides provide both contact and systemic activity in corn plants and do not rely exclusively on contact and plant-surface coverage. In addition, the treatments arrive at the farm on the seed and in the bag, eliminating loading and calibrating granular and liquid soil-applied insecticide equipment.

There are no containers to handle and return, no extra requirements for disposal of seed bags and no special protective clothing in addition to what is normally recommended for handling seed corn.