Benefits of Early Season Fungicide Application

Disease can threaten corn production throughout the season, from common diseases that affect leaves, stalks and roots.

This week, Harvest Land agronomist Steve Dlugosz takes a look at the benefits of early season fungicide application and shares the results of a field box trial done last season that yielded some interesting results. Take a look:

Infection by stalk rot organisms can occur early in the season, but visual symptoms may not appear until grain fill. Stalk rots can cause significant yield loss when the disease causes plants to deteriorate prematurely, resulting in poor ear fill or light test weight grain. Lodging can be a problem and everyone hates running down corn!

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So how can you manage these problems? What can you do to protect your crop from disease? Best management practices can help. Ask yourself these four questions:

Which disease(s) is it?

Many Corn diseases are caused by fungi, especially gray leaf spotand northern corn leaf blightsouthern corn leaf blight.  Also most of the ears rots which were a big problem a few seasons ago.

An increasing concern is southern rust which is carried by wind-borne fungal spores and commonly affect seed corn and sweet corn. Timely fungicide applications can help control these diseases.

What hybrids are a concern?

Current hybrids vary greatly in their resistant to many diseases.  Know the strength and weaknesses of the hybrids you have planted. Talk to your YieldPro Specialist if you don’t know.

How do my current cultural practices affect disease?

Because several disease organisms survive in infected residue from crop to crop, there are several cultural practices that can help break this cycle and diminish disease pressure. For example:

  • Crop rotation allows surface corn residue to break down, reducing bacteria and fungal inoculum.
  • Incorporating corn residue into the soil can further reduce the disease pressure the following season.
  • Good weed control removes disease hosts.

When should I use a fungicide?

A fungicide decision is a matter of evaluating the risk actors that drive disease development, including the hybrids you planted, rotation, disease history, and current and future weather patterns.

Timely foliar fungicide applications are a tool that can help protect corn plants from fungal YieldPro_4Cinfections throughout the season. Your YieldPro Specialist can help when making these decisions.

Applying fungicides with multiple modes of action, such as Delaro™ and Stratego® YLD can help minimize the potential for fungicide resistance, which can occur when heavy reliance is placed on controlling diseases with one chemical class.

Contact your YieldPro Specialist today to get the most out of your yield in 2018. We’re always here to help.

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