Though 2014 soybeans may be teetering at $2 to $3 per bushel lower than average market prices, a group of growers who attended the Commodity Classic last month in San Antonio, Texas, expect to continue using a suite of inputs to retain yield potential.
Nearly three-quarters of a group of 250 growers surveyed at the conference said they plan to change their mid-season disease control and insect control programs in 2014, including increasing their expenditures for fungicide and insecticide applications. The survey was sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection.
On using fungicides, 62% of respondents plan to increase fungicide use to protect or increase yields in 2014; 76% said they plan to protect crops with more aggressive foliar insect control programs.
About 55% of growers expect to spend about the same for disease and insect management in 2014 compared to 2013 input costs, while 27% expect larger crop protection investments and 12% expect to spend less than last year.
Crop scouting is essential
Growers indicated that scouting will remain an important tool when deciding when to apply fungicides and insecticides. Just more than half said they will use insecticides or fungicides if they see increased levels of insect and disease pressure in their fields.
More disease pressure and increased fungicide use were expected by 36% of respondents,19% did not anticipate increased pressure requiring fungicides.
DuPont Crop Protection specialists said fungicides and insect control products will be important management tools as crop prices dip lower. Unpredictable weather conditions may also underscore the value of crop scouting.
Growers surveyed are not expecting to reduce the level of protection they have been providing corn and soybean crops. Nearly 55% said their insect-control programs are already minimal; about 54% said the same for fungicide use.
Source: DuPont Crop Protection