Monday, February 13, 2012

Poncho® Beta Grows Sugarbeet Farmer’s Harvest and Shrinks Planting Time

Bayer CropScience’s Poncho® Beta seed treatment increases sugarbeet emergence rates without sacrificing safety

Raleigh, N.C. (Feb. 10, 2012) – Jeff Whelan of J.J. Whelan & Sons has been growing sugarbeets for nearly 37 years. He first became interested in agriculture while still in high school, when he asked his father to help him buy some American Crystal Sugar Company stock. Whelan has come a long way since his entrepreneurial beginnings, and is now growing 700 acres of sugarbeets on his farm near Crystal, N.D., where he also harvests red potatoes, hard red spring wheat, edible beans and soybeans.

In 2009, after talking with his fellow growers, Whelan first became aware of Bayer CropScience’s Poncho® Beta high-performance seed treatment. He was intrigued to learn how this product – which is applied to the individual sugarbeet seeds – combines different modes of action to provide broader spectrum and higher levels of sugarbeet protection compared to untreated seeds. Questioning the benefits of this seed treatment, Whelan first talked to his fieldman about the product, and then agreed to participate in a strip trial through American Crystal Sugar Company. And, since that time, he has been using Poncho Beta on his
sugarbeet seeds.

“Since we began ordering our seed with Poncho Beta, one of the major benefits has been better emergence rates for our sugarbeet seedlings,” said Whelan. “In our area, we see a lot of damage from sugarbeet root maggots, and, before Poncho Beta, we used a competitor’s insecticide to protect our emerging sugarbeets from these pests. Unfortunately, while this helped control the sugarbeet root maggots, some properties of the product also took a heavy toll on the young plants. Using Poncho Beta has all but eliminated this problem.”

In addition to the higher sugarbeet emergence rates, Whelan also has been impressed with how Poncho Beta has streamlined his planting process.

“What I like about Poncho Beta is the convenience of having the insecticide right on the seed,” he said. “The convenience of the seed treatment also is beneficial from a safety perspective, because there isn’t a chance that the product will blow onto your employees or
spill out in the field. At planting time, you just load your seeds into the hopper and begin
planting seeds.”

Poncho Beta contains a unique combination of a systemic insecticide, clothianidin, and a contact insecticide, beta-cyfluthrin, for extended, early-season soil and foliar insect protection. In addition to providing protection against sugarbeet root maggots, Poncho Beta protects seeds and seedlings against injury by wireworms, cutworms, beet leafhopper (a vector for the transmission of beet curly top virus), leafminers, flea beetles, black bean aphids and subterranean springtails. In areas where high root maggot pressure occurs, adding a post-emergence foliar insecticide application at peak fly to Poncho Beta-treated plants can
improve protection.

Ultimately, Whelan has been sufficiently impressed with Poncho Beta’s benefits, both in terms of its protection against sugarbeet root maggot – used with a post-emergence foliar insecticide if needed – and its ease of use at planting time. He plans to continue using it on his sugarbeet seeds moving forward.

“For me, Poncho Beta has done what Bayer CropScience said it would, and has been both effective and safe to use,” he said. “That’s why we have ordered the majority of our sugarbeet seed for the 2012 growing season with Poncho Beta.”


©2012 Bayer CropScience LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer (reg’d), the Bayer Cross(reg’d) and Poncho® are all trademarks of Bayer. Counter® is a registered trademark of BASF. Poncho Beta is not registered for use in all states. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our Website at

Bayer CropScience LP is the U.S. business of Bayer CropScience AG.


About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

Forward-looking statements This article may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports, which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

For more information, contact:

Sara Nix
Porter Novelli
Bayer CropScience
Tel: (404) 995-4516

Beth Roden
External Communications Lead
Bayer CropScience
Tel: (919) 549-2030

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