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PFR Report: Sequential Fungicide Applications on Soybeans

Published on Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The spring of 2019 has been nothing but challenging for most Midwest farmers. Because of these challenges, we could see more soybean diseases. Because we experienced plenty of rainfall both before planting and after soybean emergence, certain diseases like phytophthora root and stem rot, brown stem rot, rhizoctonia, brown spot, and white mold could show up in soybean fields. These diseases prefer wet/saturated environments and spells of cool/humid conditions. As a result, crop management throughout the growing season will be key to protecting yield potential.

Diagnosing Diseases

For a disease to exist in corn or soybeans, three things need to be present. There needs to be a 1) a pathogen 2) a host, and 3) a conducive environment. The amount of disease present will depend upon how abundant and severe the pathogen is, how conducive the environment is to disease development, and how susceptible the host is to disease. Here are seven of the best management practices to help you reduce the risk of disease pressure in your fields.

7 Best Management Practices for Disease Control

  1. Crop Rotation
    • Many disease spores overwinter in the residue from the previous year’s crop. If your rotation is soybean-after-soybean, the possibility for disease can be much higher.
  2. Tillage
    • Just like crop rotation, spores will overwinter in the residue. If the residue is buried with a tillage pass, the chances for disease will be lower.
  3. Resistant Varieties
    • When selecting varieties, utilize Beck’s product guide. Each variety is labeled with its plant health characteristic for different disease susceptibility.
  4. Seed Treatment
    • Beck’s Escalate® | Nemasect™ and Escalate | Nemasect | SDS+ seed treatments are excellent ways to control soybean diseases.
  5. Weed Control
    • Some of the diseases mentioned can infect many weed species, which can result in being a secondary host for the disease. Weed control is important for many aspects of crop production. 
  6. Optimal Growth Stage Timing of Fungicide Applications
    • The optimal timing for a single fungicide application on soybeans is at the R3 growth stage. The R3 is the reproductive stage in which pods begin to develop and there is a 0.5 cm pod present at one of the upper 4 nodes.
  7. Multiple Mode of Action (MOA) Fungicide
    • From 2016 to2018, our Practical Farm Research(PFR)® data has shown a $19.55/A. ROI increase from an application of Trivapro® at the R3 growth stage. Trivapro is a premix of a Group 3, Group 7, and Group 11 fungicides.


 


Central Illinois PFR Fungicide Additive Application on R3 Soybeans in 2018

But what if we could take these management tips even further and better control diseases and protect our yield?

New Study Alert: Fungicide Timing - Sequential Applications

For the 2019 growing season, our PFR teams in IN, KY, Central IL, Southern IL, OH, IA, and MO are participating in a new fungicide timing study. The protocol for this study is as follows:

  • Control: (no fungicide/insecticide application)
  • 13.7 oz. Trivapro® + 4 oz. Hero® at R3
  • 6 oz. Quadris® + 4 oz. Hero at R2 + 13.7 oz. Trivapro + 4 oz. Hero at R4
  • 6 oz. Quadris + 4 oz. Hero at R3 + 13.7 oz. Trivapro + 4 oz. Hero at R5

Our end goal for this study is to determine if the use of a fungicide at sequential timings will increase plant health, yield, and profitability and also decrease disease severity. As always, we need to practice good integrated pest management practices to help slow fungicide resistance. Fungicides need to be utilized to help fight crop diseases; they should not be used solely for a yield gain.

We look forward to seeing the results from this new PFR study and sharing them with you all. Hopefully, the results can help improve disease management on your farm.

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Clayton Stufflebeam
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Clayton Stufflebeam

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