Second-generation neonicotinoid insecticides are being used to protect seeds and seedlings against injury by early season insects on a wide variety of crops. Seed-applied insecticides have recently been commercialized in the USA for early season insect control in corn. The systemic insecticides clothianidin (Poncho®) and thiamethoxam (Cruiser®) applied as seed treatments were evaluated for their effect on corn yield in the absence of noticeable insect attack over a three year period at a number of locations representing diverse growing environments in Kansas. No consistent effect on yield was detected for either compound at either high or low rates in locations where insects were not observed at damaging populations. Controlled-environment studies detected no differences in early season growth in the absence of insect pests in response to the same two rates of both insecticides. Both compounds were evaluated for their effect on early season corn pests and were found to be effective at high and low rates on wireworm, white grub, flea beetles and chinch bugs. Higher rates of both compounds were needed to reduce feeding damage caused by black cutworm. Seed treatments with either compound would be useful where early season pests are chronic problems.
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Vol. 24 • No. 4