5 Tips To Decide If Corn Needs Fungicide

The use of fungicides in corn has been a hot topic in recent years, pitting some manufacturers that tout the effectiveness of preventive applications vs. many Extension specialists’ concerns. For your grower-customers that did not choose a preventive fungicide application, now is the time of year when they need to decide if a fungicide should be applied, and a Purdue University expert offers five tips to help in the decision-making process.

“Deciding whether to apply a fungicide is not a straightforward question,” says Kiersten Wise, Purdue Extension field crops disease specialist. “There are several things that must be taken into consideration.”

University research from across the Midwest shows consistent yield advantages from a fungicide application occur when there is a significant amount of disease in a field, Wise says. “This is the time to get out there and scout and determine the amount of disease in the field,” she adds. “This will really help you decide if a fungicide application is justified.”

Her top tips on what to look for to determine if fungicide application is needed are:

1. Hybrid susceptibility. Hybrids vary in their susceptibility to foliar disease of corn, and hybrids susceptible to diseases such as gray leaf spot are at a greater risk of disease development than hybrids with moderate or high levels of resistance. “As far as limiting yield potential, gray leaf spot is the main disease we are concerned about,” Wise says. “However, if you see a little bit of gray leaf spot in the field when scouting, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a fungicide application.”

2. Level of disease in the field. Growers should look through the entire field, consider the type of field and where the lesions are located on the plant. “Check to see if lesions are on the ear leaf or if the disease is on a few leaves below the ear leaf and determine the percentage of plants affected,” she says. “Fungicide application should be considered on fields where the hybrid is rated as susceptible or moderately susceptible and 50 percent or more of the plants display disease lesions on the third leaf below the ear and higher prior to tasseling.”

So far, Wise says she has seen gray leaf spot on lower leaves in some susceptible hybrids.

3. Previous crop and cropping system. When looking at the previous crop and cropping system, it’s important to remember that most fungal diseases, such as gray leaf spot, survive from year to year on crop residue. “Planting continuous corn or planting corn into high levels of corn residue with no-till will increase the likelihood for a disease to develop,” Wise says.

4. Late planting and if weather conditions are favorable for disease development. Late planting across much of Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio this spring means the crop is at increased risk of gray leaf spot development, according to research from Iowa State University. Favorable weather conditions for disease development of gray leaf spot are high humidity and moisture levels, as well as moderate to warm temperatures.

5. Pencil it out. Wise cautions growers to be careful in making the decision about whether to apply a fungicide and also include economics in the list of things to consider. “It’s an added cost, and with the price of corn right now, we need to make sure that the fungicide application will pay for itself,” she says.

Economic return depends on fungicide application costs, drying costs, and the price of corn. Wise says an increase of approximately 10 bushels per acre is needed to pay for the cost of fungicide application with corn priced at $3 per bushel and an application cost of about $30 per acre. As the price of corn increases, the additional amount of yield needed to pay for the fungicide application decreases.

So when corn is at $3.50 per bushel and application costs $30 per acre, a yield increase of about 8.5 bushels per acre is needed to pay for the cost of application. If corn reaches $4 per bushel, then a yield increase of about 7.5 bushels per acre is needed to cover application costs.

(Source: Purdue University)

Leave a Reply

Fungicides Stories

FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
FungicidesResearchers Target Soybean Disease With Genetic Resistance Study
August 6, 2014
University of Illinois researchers will share new information on controlling sudden death syndrome through genetic resistance at this year's Agronomy Day. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybeans
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
FungicidesNew Players May Make Pest Headlines In Corn, Soybean
April 1, 2014
The usual insects and diseases took a bit of a break in 2013, but other culprits surfaced — and could return. Read More

Trending Articles

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScien…
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechEPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide
October 15, 2014
The Enlist Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, has received the long-awaited green light from federal regulatory authorities. Read More
MicronutrientsGypsum On Farms Could Help Keep Water Clean, Not Green
October 14, 2014
Gypsum, which has roots in the past as a farm soil treatment, also may have a bright future, and not just as a booster of crops but also as a protector of water. Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsVerdesian Grows Sales Staff
October 14, 2014
The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories. Read More