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PFR Report: Corn Fungicide Applications for 2019

Published on Tuesday, July 9, 2019

With the challenging and stressful growing season that most of the Midwest’s corn crop has faced this year, many farmers have asked if a fungicide application is worth the investment for 2019.

Becks Practical Farm Research (PFR)® multi-location data has shown that a VT fungicide application has consistently increased yields and, in high-stress environments, can provide a substantial return on investment (ROI).

But what about 2019? Should we still be considering a fungicide application?

Ohio PFR Fungicide Additive Study Application on VT-R1 Corn in 2018

Considerations for Fungicide Applications on Corn in 2019

  1. Although many fields had to be planted in unfavorable conditions and/or later than normal, many are still seeing adequate plant stands.
  2. Lengthy periods of saturated soils will lead to decreased root development, nitrogen loss, and possible harvest concerns. In-field PFR observations have shown a strong advantage to late-season plant health and standability with a VT fungicide application.
  3. With many acres being planted later than normal, day length will be reduced during grain fill so protecting the plant to ensure optimum photosynthesis will be even more important. Reduced length of sunlight, increased hours of leaf wetness, and more moderate temperatures during a later grain fill period will favor the presence of disease like Northern Corn Leaf Blight.
  4. The continued abundance of moisture will increase the likelihood of higher disease pressure this summer and fall.
  5. Late and/or extended planting dates often lead to a late and extended harvest. Although fungicide applications will often result in slightly wetter corn at harvest (0.2% to 1.5% higher), late-planted corn that prematurely dies from disease can have a difficult time maturing properly and drying. Stalk health and late-season standability will become even more critical with a late harvest

Northern Corn Leaf Blight (pictured above) can be identified by its large, tan lesions on corn leaves

Although a fungicide application does not guarantee increased yields or a positive ROI, there are management strategies to consider that Beck’s PFR has found to improve your chances of success and profitability.

Strategies for Increased Success

  1. Target: Prioritize hybrids that have shown a high response to fungicide.
  2. Timing: Multi-year PFR data has shown that a VT or R1 application returned the most consistent yield gains compared to the V5 or V8 growth stage.
  3. Products: Currently, there are three products that have been labeled as PFR Proven™ for VT corn applications. These products include:
    1. Trivapro®
    2. Preemptor SC™
    3. Headline AMP®

Products with multiple modes of action and longer lengths of activity have shown the greatest returns.

  1. Time of Day: In 2018, our multi-location PFR data showed an advantage to spraying in the morning (8 a.m.) when there was still dew on the leaves versus in the heat of the afternoon (3 p.m.) when there was no dew on leaves. Click here to view full study results. 
  2. Carrier Rate: Beck’s PFR has seen a modest but consistent 2.8 Bu./A. yield bump from increasing the carrier rate from 10 to 15 gallons of water when applying with a ground rig. Click here to view the study results of our Trivapro® Carrier Rate Study.
  3. Additives: Our multi-location data has shown that additional foliar/nutritional products added during the fungicide application can pay. The most consistent results we’ve seen have been with products that contain boron and/or nitrogen.

2-Year, Multi-Location Feast®-XL 26-0-0 w/0.5B & B Sure® Return on Investment

Hopefully, this research will help you make a more informed and calculated decision on fungicide applications for your 2019 corn crop. If you have questions, please reach out to your local Beck’s representative.

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Jared Chester

Jared Chester

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