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

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
Frog eye leaf spot on soybean
FungicidesMake The Case For Fungicides In 2014
February 3, 2014
New products are looking good, but will growers bite with lower crop prices? Read More

Trending Articles

EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More

Latest News

ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Names New Manager Of Federal Government Relati…
August 18, 2014
Laura Wood Peterson has joined Syngenta as manager of federal government relations, based in Washington, DC. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science …
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Factory Layoffs
August 18, 2014
Deere & Co. has announced it will reduce the size of its manufacturing workforce at some agricultural equipment factories in response to current market demand for its products. Read More
HerbicidesNew DuPont Afforia Herbicide Gives Crops A Clean Start
August 18, 2014
DuPont Afforia is a preplant herbicide for soybeans and other field crops that provides excellent burndown and residual control of many challenging weeds, such as marestail and waterhemp. Read More
Equipment21 Products Showcased At MAGIE 2014
August 18, 2014
The annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition is upon us. Here is CropLife IRON's look at some of the products visitors can expect to see at this week's event. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Seeks Nominations For 2014 Operator Of The Year
August 15, 2014
Ag retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to nominate their best applicators. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
ManagementCropLife’s Buyers’ Guide Issue Now Availabl…
August 13, 2014
One of our most read issues of the year — the August Buyers' Guide — is ready to download on the iPad. This popular issue features equipment for "In The Field," "At The Plant" and "In The Office." Read More
WebinarsWebinars On Demand
August 13, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
HerbicidesBASF: Fall Burndown Benefits Go Beyond Weed Control
August 12, 2014
While unpredictable weather may delay application timing of spring herbicides, more growers are adding a burndown application in the fall Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide P…
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipNitrogen Efficiency Supports Environmental Stewardship
August 12, 2014
As growers prepare for another harvest, it’s important to consider how nitrogen stabilization not only supports healthy plant growth but also fosters environmental stewardship. Read More
Seed/BiotechMycogen Seeds Introduces 19 New Corn Hybrids For 2015
August 12, 2014
Many of the new hybrids feature Mycogen's SmartStax Refuge Advanced technology for maximum protection of the genetic potential and planting convenience. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces Enlist Ahead App For Enlist…
August 12, 2014
Designed for use with the Enlist Weed Control System, the app is a precision agriculture tool for maximizing weed control performance, managing weed resistance and making responsible applications of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Announces Senior Leadership Team Changes
August 12, 2014
Current CHS strategic leadership team member Shirley Cunningham will assume a new role as executive vice president and chief operating officer, Ag Business and Enterprise Strategy. Read More