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Z-Trap Boosts Crop Scouting

An electric zap may have just given crop scouting a boost. Z-Trap 1 is an electronic insect trap from Spensa Technologies allowing for remote monitoring of pest problems. Real-time count updates and daily reports of insect activity are sent to the cloud for web- or mobile-based monitoring. The automated process of capturing and counting insects carries the potential for labor savings and greater accuracy of pesticide applications.

Bats Save Billions In Pest Control

A secret war is waged above farmland every night.

Just after dusk, high-stakes aerial combat is fought in the darkness atop the crop canopy. Nature’s air force arrives in waves over crop fields, sometimes flying in from 30 miles away. Bat colonies blanket the air with echo location clicks and dive toward insect prey at up to 60 mph. In games of hide-and-seek between bats and crop pests, the bats always win, and the victories are worth billions of dollars to U.S. agriculture.

EPA Appeals Board Upholds Belt's Cancellation

EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board has upheld the agency’s decision to cancel Bayer’s Belt (flubendiamide) insecticide earlier this year over environmental concerns.

As a result, the product will no longer be produced. Farmers will still have access to the insecticide for a limited time, however. The decision will permit retailers to sell any remaining inventory, and farmers will be able to apply the insecticide under label specifications.

Europe Walks Tightrope With Proposal for Chemicals in Pesticides

The European Commission proposed more detailed regulation of hormone-damaging chemicals in pesticides, leaving both the industry and environmentalists crying foul.

The commission, the European Union’s regulatory arm in Brussels, presented draft rules for determining whether pesticides contain so-called endocrine disruptors. The proposed criteria, which would replace interim standards under seven-year-old EU legislation on plant-protection products, are based on the World Health Organization’s definition of an endocrine disruptor.

Pesticide Makers Warn of EU Grain Cuts From Tougher Health Rules

European Union cereal production risks being cut by stricter EU rules on hormone-damaging chemicals, the pesticides industry warned.

An EU plan to outline more detailed criteria for determining whether pesticides contain so-called endocrine disruptors could force key farm chemicals off the market, according to the European Crop Protection Association, which represents producers such as BASF SE, Bayer AG and Dow Chemical Co. The initiative is due on Wednesday.

9 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Sprayer

By Tracy Turner, Ag Answers

Using clean water when calibrating a pesticide sprayer and carrying extra nozzles for quick repair of simple problems in the field are just some of the tricks of the trade that can help growers save time, energy and money during spraying season, says a spray technology expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Bayer/Monsanto Deal Promises 'Clear Benefit' to Farmers, Say Bayer Execs

Top Bayer leaders said Monday that the company’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto offers a “clear benefit” for farmers.

The combined company would be number one in seeds and traits and number one in the crop protection market, according to figures released by Bayer and others in the marketplace. Bayer officials declined to say whether their newly achieved market strength would translate into higher prices for farmers.

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