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Farmers Challenged to Take Action Against Yield-Robbing Pests
USAgNet - 06/30/2020

Farmers often face detrimental losses when it comes to yield-robbing pests, but the soy checkoff and its partners in the Take Action program released free tools to use this week to mitigate crop damage and stave off resistance. This past week, university experts, weed scientists and advocates came together for PEST Week (Pest Elimination Strategies and Tactics) to break down the pesticide-resistance challenge into manageable and realistic steps for farmers.

"PEST Week is really a reminder to invest in best management practices now to protect our yields, so we don't pay for it later at the elevator," said Tom Oswald, a United Soybean Board (USB) farmer-leader from Cleghorn, Iowa. "The resources that the Take Action program provides are unbiased and backed by the experts across the country and give us, as farmers, the information we need to manage our pests and defend against increasing resistance. After a tough spring, it's more important than ever to take this seriously."

Take Action is an industrywide pesticide-resistance management initiative funded in part by the soy checkoff and other endorsing partners including commodity groups, academic institutions and the leading trait and agrochemical companies.

It's crucial to conduct midseason steps now, such as in-field scouting and using a different site or mode of action from the previous application, to minimize weed competition, disease and insect damage. Pesticide resistance can be even more costly and stems largely from ineffective applications and management -- which the Take Action program has vowed to correct.

"It's getting to the point where if farmers don't deal with resistance, they will see major losses," said Christy Sprague, a Michigan State University professor and weed extension specialist for Take Action.

Take Action's partners compiled all the latest information from weed, insect and disease experts into a ready-to-read kit that farmers can download from the Take Action website or reference on the go in the Take Action app. Every small step farmers take brings large rewards. Every day during PEST Week, a different step in effective and responsible pest management will be showcased across Take Action's social channels, encouraging farmers to follow along and take the week to level up their management plan.

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