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Agronomists share data-driven strategies to help farmers manage this season’s challenges

Trial research informs recommendations for managing top challenges in corn and soybean production this year

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., USA, April 21, 2021 – With the 2021 growing season officially underway, the Golden Harvest® agronomy team is offering farmers recommendations on how to navigate key challenges in the upcoming season, utilizing data from trials at several research locations across the Midwest. Corn and soybean farmers must proactively protect their crops from insects, diseases and weeds to maximize yield potential and increase potential return on investment, making decisions on hybrid selection, chemical applications and crop management techniques critical to success in the field.

Here are the team’s top three tips for corn and soybean farmers this season:
  1. Create a robust, multiyear corn rootworm management plan, and be prepared to make adjustments.
Corn Rootworm
Corn rootworm can cause severe damage to corn as both larvae and adults. Photo source: Syngenta
To avoid severe crop damage and yield loss from corn rootworm, farmers must proactively fight the pest using multiple tactics. 

“The bottom line is there isn’t one easy answer to managing corn rootworm,” said Mitch Montgomery, agronomist for Golden Harvest in west central Iowa. “Building an effective corn rootworm management plan takes effort.” 

To protect against corn rootworm this season and beyond, Montgomery recommends farmers start by analyzing and understanding their field history. In addition to utilizing trait packages such as Agrisure Duracade® 5222 E-Z Refuge®, which combines the Agrisure Duracade and Agrisure Viptera® traits to protect against 16 above- and below-ground pests, farmers should also think ahead to future seasons and plan to expose corn rootworm to something different by creating a multiyear, field-by-field plan. An effective plan deploys different management options in different seasons including crop rotation, the use of soil-applied insecticides such as Force® 6.5G or Force Evo, rotation of trait stacks and use of a foliar insecticide such as Warrior II with Zeon Technology® for adult beetle control when needed. The “Take Control of Corn Rootworm” decision guide can help farmers build an effective management plan.

Montgomery also emphasized that farmers must be prepared to adapt their plan as the season progresses and insect pressures change. 

“A ‘set it and forget it’ strategy will not work with corn rootworm,” Montgomery said. “Farmers must remain vigilant throughout the season.”
  1. Select resistant hybrids and make timely fungicide applications to control top corn diseases.
Southern Rust
Southern rust causes light orange or brown densely packed pustules on the top of corn leaves. Photo source: Syngenta
Southern corn rust, bacterial leaf streak, tar spot and Physoderma maydis are common diseases found in Midwestern cornfields any given season. To get them under control, Golden Harvest agronomists recommend farmers identify their top disease threats based on field history and choose resistant hybrids accordingly.

“Over years of research trials, we’ve had a lot of opportunity to identify which of our hybrids are susceptible to particular diseases and which have more tolerance,” said Lance Coers, agronomist for Golden Harvest in northern Illinois. “This enables farmers to choose hybrids that will perform the best in the environments for which they are managing.”

Once hybrid selections are final, Coers said the next best way to get ahead of diseases like Southern corn rust, tar spot or Physoderma maydis is to invest in a quality fungicide such as Trivapro® or Miravis® Neo.

“It’s unlikely that there will be just one fungal disease in a field, so the absolute biggest recommendation we have for farmers outside of hybrid selection is to make timely fungicide applications,” he said. “We encourage growers who have known problematic fields to utilize a quality fungicide and spray fields. We also recommend that growers start scouting early and often throughout the season to keep common diseases under control.”
  1. Follow a four-step approach for soybean weed management.
Soybean Beauty
A weed-free soybean field. Photo source: Syngenta
Effective soybean weed management is about more than just killing weeds.

“Soybean weed management should focus on knowing the key weeds in your fields, minimizing weed competition throughout the season, and choosing herbicide products and timing your applications to promote resistance management,” said Syngenta Seeds Agronomy Service Manager Jami Loecker.

Loecker recommends a four-step approach for farmers to control soybean weeds and manage herbicide resistance this season:
  1. Select seeds with genetics and herbicide tolerance that best fit farm needs
  2. Make a preemergence application of a herbicide with at least two effective sites of action, such as Boundary® 6.5 EC, BroadAxe® XC or Prefix® herbicides
  3. Make a post-emergence application of a product with different effective sites of action, such as Tavium® Plus VaporGrip® Technology, which can be used on dicamba-tolerant soybeans, or Sequence® herbicide, which can be used on any glyphosate-tolerant trait
  4. For farmers who rotate between corn and soybeans, control volunteer corn populations with a strong herbicide, such as Fusilade® DX, to protect soybean crop yield potential and aid in corn rootworm resistance management
For more help identifying the best herbicide options for your soybean fields, farmers can use this soybean herbicide program planning tool to discover products and create a flexible, integrated weed management plan.

Golden Harvest recently hosted live presentations on these subjects to provide farmers with an opportunity to ask agronomists questions and receive real-time, actionable guidance. To access session replays, visit

Golden Harvest also recently released the Agronomy in Action 2021 Research Review, a comprehensive review of applied and practical agronomic studies conducted during the 2020 growing season at Golden Harvest Agronomy in Action research sites. The book, which can be downloaded here, provides trial summaries, results and learnings to help farmers mitigate risk and adjust management techniques for the 2021 growing season and beyond. 

The Golden Harvest portfolio is available from Golden Harvest Seed Advisors, who combine high-yielding seed options with local agronomic knowledge and deliver a Service 365 year-round commitment to doing whatever it takes to yield results for farmers. 

To find a local, independent Seed Advisor, gain more information on Golden Harvest corn and soybeans and access additional agronomic insights for this growing season, visit

About Golden Harvest
Golden Harvest Seeds has been rooted in genetics, agronomy and service since 1973, offering in-depth seeds expertise combined with the local agronomic know-how of an independent Seed Advisor to maximize yield potential on each field. Today, every Golden Harvest hybrid and variety is bred with the individual needs of hardworking farmers in mind. Find more information at Follow us on X at and like us on Facebook at

Media Contacts:
Erin Skly

Christina Beckett

Web Resources:
Golden Harvest
Agronomy in Action 2021 Research Review 
Golden Harvest Virtual Agronomy Summits

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document may contain forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect’, ‘would’, ‘will’, ‘potential’, ‘plans’, ‘prospects’, ‘estimated’, ‘aiming’, ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. For Syngenta, such risks and uncertainties include risks relating to legal proceedings, regulatory approvals, new product development, increasing competition, customer credit risk, general economic and market conditions, compliance and remediation, intellectual property rights, implementation of organizational changes, impairment of intangible assets, consumer perceptions of genetically modified crops and organisms or crop protection chemicals, climatic variations, fluctuations in exchange rates and/or commodity prices, single source supply arrangements, political uncertainty, natural disasters, and breaches of data security or other disruptions of information technology. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors.

All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission. 

Product performance assumes disease presence.
© 2021 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. AAtrex 4L, AAtrex Nine-O, Acuron, Agri-Flex, Agri-Mek 0.15EC, Agri-Mek SC, Avicta 500FS, Avicta Complete Beans 500, Avicta Complete Corn 250, Avicta Complete Corn 500, Avicta Duo Corn, Avicta Duo 250 Corn, Avicta Duo CPT20, Avicta Duo Cotton, Besiege, Bicep II Magnum, Bicep II Magnum FC, Bicep Lite II Magnum, Callisto Xtra, Cyclone SL 2.0, Denim, Endigo ZC, Endigo ZCX, Epi-Mek 0.15EC, Expert, Force, Force 3G, Force CS, Force 6.5G, Force Evo, Gramoxone SL, Gramoxone SL 2.0, Gramoxone SL 3.0, Karate with Zeon Technology, Lamcap, Lamcap II, Lamdec, Lexar, Lexar EZ, Lumax, Lumax EZ, Medal II ATZ, Minecto Pro, Proclaim, Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology, Voliam Xpress and Warrior II with Zeon Technology are Restricted Use Pesticides.

Some seed treatment offers are separately registered products applied to the seed as a combined slurry. Always read individual product labels and treater instructions before combining and applying component products. Orondis Gold may be sold as a formulated premix or as a combination of separately registered products: Orondis Gold 200 and Orondis Gold B.

Important: Always read and follow label and bag tag instructions; only those labeled as tolerant to glufosinate may be sprayed with glufosinate ammonium-based herbicides. LibertyLink®, Liberty® and the Water Droplet logo are registered trademarks of BASF. GT27® is a trademark of M.S. Technologies and BASF. HERCULEX® and the HERCULEX Shield are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, LLC. HERCULEX Insect Protection technology by Dow AgroSciences. Under federal and local laws, only dicamba-containing herbicides registered for use on dicamba-tolerant varieties may be applied. See product labels for details and tank mix partners. Golden Harvest® and NK® Soybean varieties are protected under granted or pending U.S. variety patents and other intellectual property rights, regardless of the trait(s) within the seed.  The Enlist E3® traits, LibertyLink®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield® and XtendFlex® traits may be protected under numerous United States patents. It is unlawful to save soybeans containing these traits for planting or transfer to others for use as a planting seed. Only dicamba formulations that employ VaporGrip® Technology are approved for use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® and XtendFlex® soybeans. Only 2,4-D choline formulations with Colex-D® Technology are approved for use with Enlist E3® soybeans. VaporGrip® is a trademark of, and used under license from, Monsanto Technology LLC. Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, XtendFlex® and YieldGard VT Pro® are registered trademark used under license from the Bayer Group. ENLIST E3® soybean technology is jointly developed with Dow AgroSciences LLC and MS Technologies LLC. The ENLIST trait and ENLIST Weed Control System are technologies owned and developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC. ENLIST® and ENLIST E3® are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC. The trademarks or service marks displayed or otherwise used herein are the property of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. More information about Agrisure Duracade® is available at


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