Bayer initiative to combat leafhoppers warns of increased incidence in the country

In May, the pest was detected in more than 97% of traps installed in the country; Mapping has helped Brazilian producers to define better management strategies

03.07.2023 | 14:59 (UTC -3)
Ingrid Biasioli

Some Brazilian regions are on alert with the gradual increase in the incidence of leafhoppers in corn, according to the survey, carried out by the Leafhopper Combat Squad, an initiative driven by Bayer in partnership with agtech SIMA. In May, the pest was found in 97% of the more than 2016 traps installed in the country, a considerable increase compared to the 90% recorded in April and the 86% in March. 

This data reinforces the importance of continuous care in relation to integrated pest management (IPM), as explained by Marcelo Giacometti, Field marketing manager at Bayer. “With monitoring information in hand, our customers realize the importance of using data to calibrate their management strategy for this important pest. Corn cultivation has a very short period to define its productive potential and paying attention to details makes a difference in the results of the harvest. We would like to draw the attention of all producers to follow the monitoring, as the leafhopper is present in all summer and off-season corn planting regions, with the potential to cause significant impacts on the productive potential, if preventive measures are not taken”, says the executive.

The corn leafhopper is responsible for transmitting one of the most harmful diseases for crops in the country, the stunting complex, capable of reducing crop productivity by more than 70%, according to Embrapa. The insect is a prominent risk in the field, which is why initiatives such as the Cigarette Combat Squad are very important allies against the pest, according to the agronomist specializing in corn cultivation at Bayer, Paulo Garollo. 

“In addition to monitoring, to obtain a good result and guarantee the profitability of the crop, it is necessary to apply practices that involve integrated pest management (IPM) and adopt chemical control measures depending on the stage of the plant”, says Garollo. “The management of leafhopper nymphs, for example, is perhaps one of the main bottlenecks in successfully eradicating this pest. It is because of them that, even with all the precautions taken and everything appearing to be under control, from one day to the next there is an explosion in insect infestation in the areas.”

A good example of this explosion of infestation can be seen in Mato Grosso do Sul, where the pest was found in 81% of traps in April, but in May this number jumped to 95%. In general, all monitored states have high rates of leafhopper presence. “Initiative is the key to preventing damage caused by the insect. Our focus is to help producers make more assertive management decisions and minimize this problem that is significantly impacting corn profitability”, says Bayer's executive director of corn business, Rodrigo Nuernberg.

During the harvest, from February to May, more than 89% of the traps developed by Bayer recorded the presence of the pest.

LS Tractor February