Disease Digest

Deere sprayer, corn

In the fungicide world, 2007 will be memorable for its flurry of foliar fungicide applications, especially in corn, but not because diseases were rampant. No, many of these applications targeted the health of the crop.

This is just one of the key topics our in-house advice columnist, Rusty Beane, will discuss in this final installment of the Crop Protection Review series. Like Reid W. Acker and Bugsy B. Gohn, Beane is a fictional character based on a combination of almost two decades of staff background in crop protection, along with recent interviews with Extension plant pathologists and fungicide product managers.

Dear Rusty: What key diseases should we keep an eye on this year?

As always, weather will play a key role. There have been reports that 2008 will be a dry season. “According to weather experts, the drought in the Southeast in 2007 may be a precursor for drought in the Midwest in 2008,” explains Daren Mueller, Iowa State University Extension plant pathologist. “In that case, we may see a different set of diseases on corn and soybeans. For example, Aspergillus ear rot on corn and charcoal rot in soybeans can be more severe when weather conditions are dry,” he says. Charcoal rot can show up in corn, too.

“If the trends that we have seen the past few years continue, other diseases on soybeans that are more severe in Iowa are sudden death syndrome (SDS) and frogeye leaf spot,” Mueller says.

Dear Rusty: Are there any new fungicides for corn or soybeans in ’08?

There are two, both for soybeans.

Ballad Plus biofungicide from AgraQuest is registered for Asian soybean rust, powdery mildew, coercospora, and brown spot. Based on a patented strain of Bacillus pumilus, it offers broad-spectrum control or suppression of many key plant diseases and is an excellent fit in disease control programs of both conventional and organic production.

2008 New Fungicides
 Product  Company  Active Ingredient(s)
 Ballad Plus  AgraQuest  Bacillus pumilus
 Nevado  MANA  iprodione

Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc. (MANA) received EPA approval for Nevado fungicide, which contains iprodione, the active ingredient in Rovral. While its primary targets are specialty crops, it also has been approved for use against black leaf blight in soybeans in small areas in the Western U.S.

Dear Rusty: I hear that Extension scientists are still on the fence about using Headline on corn, but then my BASF rep says the Plant Health benefits of Headline really work. What do I tell my growers?

Oh, my, now that’s a bit of a pickle. Not all Extension researchers should be painted with the same brush, but overall, many are hesitant to jump on BASF’s Plant Health program bandwagon until they see their own research results, and I can understand that. “We’re sort of unpopular for saying there isn’t much yield response, although this has been what our research has shown to date; growers don’t want to hear that,” Mueller says.

There has been minimal soybean yield response to fungicides in Iowa, for example, although individual fields responded well. The response is more mixed in Iowa corn, though. “There are fields that get yield benefit and others that have yield loss,” he says.

The potential for stronger stalks and better yields with today’s higher crop prices is especially enticing for growers with larger acreage. Narrowing down the various factors that could impact preventive fungicide benefits and increase the potential for positive economic response should be the goal of researchers, Mueller says. 

As in 2007, we can expect growers to be willing to spend input dollars to ultimately increase yield.

And BASF’s numbers appear to back its claims. The company released results of its on-farm trials in early January: In the more than 1,150 on-farm trials conducted across the U.S. in 2007, the average yield increase of Headline-treated corn ranged from 12 bushels per acre (bu/A) to 16 bu/A, while Headline-treated soybeans increased by an average of 4 bu/A to 8 bu/A. BASF estimates that in 2007, U.S. corn and soybean growers who used Headline produced an additional $450 million worth of grain.

According to BASF, that works out to an extra profit of $34 to $51 per acre for corn growers and $28 to $74 per acre for soybean growers, estimated at current commodity prices and average application costs.

Most of Headline was applied by air, and Midwestern aerial applicators called on their Southern brethren to help cover the extra acreage in 2007. “We had an astronomical increase in demand for aerial applications in 2007, from 8,000 to 80,000 acres, and I think we’ll see another big increase in 2008,” says Craig Bair with AgFlight, Inc., who services the York, NE, area.

2008 Label Changes
 Product  Company  Label Change(s)
 Bumper  MANA  Added Asian soybean rust, frogeye leaf spot, brown spot, anthracnose, aerial web blight in soybeans.
 Domark Valent U.S.A. Corp. Received full Section 3.
Headline BASF Corp. At the VT stage or later in corn, may be used with adjuvant; do not use adjuvant prior to full tassel stage; application rate reduced for corn; eyespot added to 2(ee) label; REI shortened to 12 hours.
Headline BASF/Monsanto Agreement created between BASF and Monsanto to co-promote.
Laredo Dow AgroSciences Full Section 18 label.
Quilt Syngenta Rate reduced for aerial application; REI now 12 hours.
Punch DuPont Crop Protection Continued Section 18 label.
Stratego Bayer CropScience Updated label in soybeans, corn.

What does all of this mean to your business? At least some of your grower-customers will use Headline or another foliar fungicide this year, so why not use that to your advantage? Do some test plots of your own to get a better sense of which soils, weather factors, hybrids, production practices, etc. take to a crop health system best in your service area. Be sure to follow up at grower meetings and in one-on-one planning sessions next winter.

Dear Rusty: Our dealership is in the Midwest and Asian soybean rust has yet to affect our soybean yields. Is there any reason to be very concerned about it this year?

Asian soybean rust is a disease we’re still getting to know, and 2007 proved beneficial to the learning curve because rust became more widespread. “Last year, we learned a lot about how well we can predict rust,” says Mueller.
But you’re right, what yield loss there’s been has been in the South and Southeast, where soybean rust has built a stronghold the past three seasons. For others, by the time rust made it to their fields, the soybeans were past the reproductive stages, their pods were set, and yields were not affected.

Many fingers point to the lack of moisture for the fairly quiet invasion. Remember, an Asian soybean rust epidemic will require three elements: leaf wetness from rainfall or high humidity; susceptible host plant (usually kudzu and soybeans); and spores that are still viable when they land on the soybean plant.

“My fear is that we’ve had three extremely unusual years environmentally, especially when you look at the drought in the Southeast,” says Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist. “That drought in the Southeast really kept things quiet last year.” If it turns out to be a wetter-than-average year in the wrong places, more areas could well have soybean fields with rust-induced yield losses.

One of the smartest things you can do for your growers is to never let your guard down and monitor USDA’s impPIPE (Integrated Pest Management-Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education) Web site throughout the season at www.sbrusa.net.

The key is not if soybean rust shows up in fields, but when and how much inoculum the wind brings into an area — and the Southeast and South hold the key for everyone else. “You have to have a certain quantity of rust in the South before it’s going to economically impact the northern states,” she says. There are two major wind patterns that will move rust northward, so states along the Eastern part of the U.S. need to watch what happens in states like Florida, Georgia, and Alabama; while those in the rest of the Midwest should keep an eye on Mexico and adjacent states.

“Certainly any inoculum buildup in areas like Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico does not bode well for soybean strongholds like Iowa,” adds Mueller.

Dear Rusty: My grower-customers like using fungicide seed treatments. Anything new on that front?

BASF just received registration for Stamina fungicide in late February. Derived from pyraclostrobin, the same active ingredient used in BASF’s Headline, Stamina will be marketed for corn seed.

The company tells me that seed and seedlings are better protected from key diseases such as Rhizoctonia and stress tolerance is improved. According to BASF, this is particularly important because of the earlier planting that we’re seeing more of and the increased use of no-till production systems may lead to slower emergence of seedlings in the cool, wet soils. “This delivers healthy plants right out of the ground as corn seedlings have a strong start, resulting in increased yield potential,” says Craig Lindholm, marketing manager, seed treatments at BASF U.S. Crop Protection Products.

Leave a Reply

Fungicides Stories

Soybean Closeup
FungicidesFMC Begins Registration Process For New Fungicide Active Ingredient
October 19, 2016
FMC Agricultural Solutions has begun the joint U.S. EPA and Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency registration process for bixafen, a new Read More
Soybean Field
FungicidesSyngenta Launches Interactive Tools For Vibrance Seed Treatment Fungicide
August 30, 2016
As part of the ongoing commitment to provide growers and retailers with the most current crop protection products and agronomic Read More
Frog eye leaf spot on soybean
FungicidesNew FMC Website Provides Season-Long Updates On Fungicide Plots
July 7, 2016
Grow Forward with FMC Fungicides is a plot initiative in key corn and soybean producing regions showcasing fungicides from FMC. Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Crop InputsTrivapro Fungicide Yield Results Elevate 2016 Crop Outlook
May 10, 2016
As growers evaluate business models and consider their 2016 management plans, strong first-year trial results for Trivapro fungicide from Syngenta Read More
Trending Articles
AGCO RG700 cab
OpinionRoadblocks To Precision Ag Innovation
October 5, 2016
On August 29, I got to preside over the PrecisionAg Innovation Series event, “Game-Changing Advances in Precision Farming Technology,” developed Read More
J.C. Ramsdell containment system
EquipmentClear Opportunity In The Tank Market
October 4, 2016
Crop prices may be down, but steel prices are too — and that’s good news for retailers looking to add some Read More
WinField booth Farm Progress
Special ReportsTalking Weed Management Strategies At Farm Progress 2016
October 2, 2016
The annual Farm Progress Show — this year staged in Boone, IA — is always a great place to catch Read More
Corn Field
Eric SfiligojFacing Ag Industry Challenges
September 26, 2016
At the 2016 annual Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) meeting in September, a pair of crop protection company representatives discussed Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Potash Corp Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium, Potash Corp To Merge To Create $36 Billion Company
September 12, 2016
Canada’s Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. have agreed to combine in a deal that would create a Read More
Latest News
Kennebec Grain terminal
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Kennebec Facility Loads First Rail Cars
October 21, 2016
In a season of firsts for Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Grain Terminal, the first 115-car unit train was loaded with soybeans Read More
ManagementThe Latest Dow-DuPont Rumor, Product of the Year Voting…
October 20, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj shares a new rumor about the Dow-DuPont merger and updates on two CropLife-driven programs, the CropLife Read More
Soybean Closeup
FungicidesFMC Begins Registration Process For New Fungicide Activ…
October 19, 2016
FMC Agricultural Solutions has begun the joint U.S. EPA and Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency registration process for bixafen, a new Read More
Soil Young Corn
Industry NewsAgribusiness Search Firm Appoints New Managing Partner
October 18, 2016
Morris Bixby Group, a leading agribusiness search firm providing the highest quality professional recruiting and career advancement services since 2000, Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
FertilizerUnited Suppliers Acquires Kansas Fertilizer Business
October 17, 2016
United Suppliers, Inc. has purchased the assets of Evans Enterprises, LLC, an ammonium chloride fertilizer business based in Olathe, KS. Read More
Corn Field
Industry NewsFMC Launches New Operations In Argentina, Exits Joint V…
October 17, 2016
FMC Corp. has exited its joint venture with Ruralco Soluciones S.A. FMC has launched new commercial operations, FMC Quimica S.A., Read More
Dow AgroSciences
InsecticidesRenewed Registration Issued For Products Containing Sul…
October 17, 2016
On October 14, 2016, the U.S. EPA re-established the registration of products containing sulfoxaflor (Isoclast Active), including Transform WG, Closer Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Whys Of Agriculture
October 17, 2016
During 2016, there have been myriad challenges facing the whole agricultural industry. Such wide ranging issues as water protection, sustainable Read More
Young Corn Field
FertilizerImproved Phosphorus Management Essential To Feeding Wor…
October 14, 2016
With a global population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, improved management of key essential nutrients such as Read More
ManagementHarvest and Crop Price Updates; EPA and Crop Protection…
October 13, 2016
Glyphosate and atrazine get public comment support from ARA as each is reviewed by EPA, and the latest on the Read More
Matt Hopkins15 Twitter Accounts Every Ag Professional Must Follow
October 13, 2016
What do singer Katy Perry and the President of the United States have in common? They are two of the Read More
Corn Field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Adds Two Key Account Managers
October 13, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of two key account managers: Doug Hoberty and Rob Wier. Hoberty and Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Development Deal with Scherer Design
October 12, 2016
Deere & Co. announces a joint development agreement with Scherer Design Engineering, Inc. to develop and commercialize kernel processing solutions Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Celebrates 10 Years Of Innovati…
October 12, 2016
Richard Rominger, former Deputy Secretary of the USDA and former agricultural secretary of California, emceed a 10th anniversary luncheon celebration on Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Industry NewsVive Crop Protection Closes Financing To Support Corpor…
October 11, 2016
Vive Crop Protection has announced the closing of growth financing to support 2017 commercial expansion. The financing was led by Read More
SoftwareHD Precision Analytics Launches New Mobile App For Agri…
October 11, 2016
AGSentry from HD Precision Analytics is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that offers simple data service and actionable analytics tool. It focuses Read More
HerbicidesWeed Control And Soil Health Go Hand-in-Hand
October 10, 2016
Although many landowners may not give much thought to weed control as a soil health measure, Gared Shaffer, South Dakota Read More
Students Soybean Field
Eric Sfiligoj2016 Young Leaders Speak
October 10, 2016
One of the consistent cries in agriculture today is the need to try and connect with the younger generations, attempting Read More