Published on Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Fungicides are used in corn for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they can prevent or mitigate disease. How a fungicide works will depend on its mode of action. In addition to controlling disease, fungicides also work to increase water use efficiency in the plant, photosynthesis, nitrate reductase activity, timing for ear fill, and stress tolerance. One way to increase this stress tolerance is through the mitigation of ethylene production.
In addition to determining the disease you want to control, a few other considerations come into play with a fungicide. What is the ideal timing to gain yield from a fungicide application? In the past, we have observed a greater ROI from the use of fungicides later in the season rather than early in the season. This late-season application has also showed a greater return when compared to making two applications.
In 2017, Beck’s PFR began working to further identify the ideal timing for fungicide applications in corn. Data from 2017 indicates that minimal differences could be observed, regardless of spraying at the VT, R1, R2, or R3 growth stages. However, some sites did see an advantage to a fungicide application at the earliest stage of tasseling, or VT.
Fungicide applications appear to be more effective when applied in the morning. A dew may help spread the fungicide over the surface of the leaf.
Practical Farm Research data indicates that 15 to 20 gallons of carrier rate is the sweet spot. Always read and follow label directions.
Author: Jim Schwartz
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk