Insecticides 2019: New Pest and Product Watch

“It was a bit of a rocky season, frankly,” is how Neil Bentley, BASF’s VP Global Strategic Marketing, Insecticides, describes the last growing season when it comes to insecticides. “We had reasonable growing conditions, but a long harvest, lowered and depressed commodity prices, and tariffs have impacted sentiment of farmers.”

While BASF expects the insecticide market to grow, “farmers are also voting with their pocketbook as it relates to the challenges they see from an economic standpoint. I think there is a bit of a cloud over the industry right now based on those financial conditions,” Bentley says.


The reluctance to spray for pests, however, will often curb growers’ yield potential, according to Bob Hooten, veteran Subject Matter Expert for FMC.

“Soybean farmers will tell me, ‘I’ve capped at 50- to 60-bushel beans and can’t seem to break out of that and get up into the 70- to 80-bushel range.’ A lot of that has to do with insects and not spraying for them.

“The bottom line is growers need to pay attention to what’s the most limiting factor in your yield: Is it above ground or below ground? Are you pumping money into what’s above ground and not getting yield response? Maybe you go back and take a look at the root system. Very few people treat soybeans. The few that do have high-yield beans,” he says.

For corn growers, rootworm resistance is the Palmer amaranth of the bug world. “If growers haven’t paid attention, they probably need to throw the kitchen sink at it in spring and start scouting for adults in the fall,” Hooten says.

Here we will take a look at some of the newer pest issues that arose in 2018 and offer a glimpse of new insecticide products coming to market for the 2019 crop season.