U.S. Sunflower Growers Facing Increasing Global Competition

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Optimizing Yields is Critical to Profitability


You can apply glyphosate to puffball kochia in the spring and it just sits there for weeks and weeks and does not die

New U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates predict that global sunflower production will increase in 2010 - this could represent a major opportunity for U.S. sunflower growers. Making sound agronomic decisions on weed and insect control can mean the difference between success and failure in competing in this highly competitive global marketplace.

Sam Lockhart, technical sales manager with FMC Corporation and an expert on weed and insect control in sunflowers, outlined several best management practices that growers can follow in order to optimize yields and profitability.

"Kochia is a devastating weed and can cause a lot of yield loss," Lockhart explains. He recommends the Spartan line of herbicide products from FMC to help control these tough, resistant weeds. Spartan® Advance and Spartan® Charge herbicides both provide the convenience of unmatched preemergence control of tough broadleaf weeds, such as kochia, with powerful broad-spectrum burndown in no-till sunflowers.

Even if growers are planting herbicide tolerant sunflowers, such as varieties modified to be tolerant of imi herbicides, Lockhart emphasizes that agronomically sound weed resistance management strategies are a must.

"Be aware of resistant weeds and your field. You still have to use a Spartan brand herbicide as a base because of resistant weeds, including ALS resistant kochia. The Spartan family of herbicides should be the foundation of any early-season weed control management plan in sunflowers."

For control of tough, small resistant weeds such as puffball kochia, FMC offers a range of solutions. One excellent control solution is Spartan Charge herbicide. "Spartan Charge will provide visible control results on puffball kochia, even in colder temperatures where glyphosate alone won't provide effective control."

Another excellent strategy for controlling puffball kochia is to add Aim® herbicide in a tank mix with glyphosate. "You can apply glyphosate to puffball kochia in the spring and it just sits there for weeks and weeks and does not die," Lockart explains. "Actually, the hairy cuticles on the plant itself don't allow glyphosate to enter the plant. That's where you put in a half ounce of Aim with that glyphosate treatment and you can really see the results in a day or two rather than weeks from the glyphosate alone."

For preplant burndown, Lockhart recommends Spartan Advance herbicide. "Spartan Advance offers a terrific combination of ease and convenience of use for growers," he explains. "It also makes a very effective tank mix partner with Aim EC herbicide."

In addition to offering a wide range of weed control solutions, FMC also offers a proven insect control option to sunflower growers. Mustang Max® insecticide can be used to control a variety of devastating insect pests in sunflower production, including cutworms, sunflower moths, seed weevils, head moth and sunflower beetles. Lockart warns growers to scout vigilantly and apply an effective insecticide such as Mustang Max when needed.

"Mustang Max is a very good product, to manage cutworms early in the growing season. Later in the season, it can provide excellent control of seed weevil and headmoth," Lockhart said.

For more information about the complete portfolio of crop protection products from FMC, visit FMCcrop.com.

About FMC
FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. The company employs approximately 5,000 people throughout the world. The company operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals.

Always read and follow label directions. Mustang Max is a restricted use pesticide. Aim and Mustang Max are not registered for use in California. FMC, Aim, Spartan and Mustang Max are trademarks of FMC Corporation. Baythroid is a trademark of Bayer CropScience. Warrior and Dual Magnum are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Cobalt and Lorsban are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Asana is a trademark of E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co. Prowl is a trademark of BASF Corporation. © 2010 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. FMC-2815 5/10


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