Fungicides Can Boost Health, Reduce Risk

Frogeye Leaf Spot

It sometimes may feel like a precarious situation when determining how to recommend fungicide investments to your growers. Yet, when you have the best knowledge of industry experts on your side, you can proceed with confidence.

Here’s the advice of several we interviewed.

Retailer Perspectives

“We recommend that growers start by selecting hybrids and varieties with a resistance package to fight off disease,” says Steve Cromley, MFA Inc. senior agronomist. “The next step is to scout fields to determine if diseases are present and at what level. If diseases are present, the consultant and producer can determine if the level of infection and environmental conditions justify a fungicide application.  

Cromley reports that MFA has seen an increase in services tied to disease control, including fungicide applications and sales, as well as consulting services for seed selection and field scouting. Retailers and Certified Crop Advisers play a big role as Midwest growers manage more and more acres.

“In our trade territory the main fungal diseases we fight are grey leaf spot, anthracnose and rust in corn. In soybeans the two main diseases are septoria and frogeye leaf spot. Rarely do we have just one disease in a field,” says Cromley.  

“When scouting fields and determining if a fungicide application need be considered, we look at the cumulative effect of all the diseases present. A single disease by itself may not warrant a fungicide application, but when you add the stress from even low levels of multiple diseases, a fungicide application may be beneficial,” he says.

In South Central Illinois, Regan Wear at the Shipman Elevator Co. shares some lessons learned during the 2010 and 2011 growing season, which earned the co-op the distinction of being named District 6 winner of the Illinois Soy­bean Association Yield Challenge two years in a row.

“We treated our growers’ soybeans with both insecticide and fungicide. Our treatment in 2010 resulted in 12 bushels more per acre. In 2011, we applied our system during the hottest and driest July and August you could imagine,” says Wear. “We came out with similar results that clearly resulted in a 12-bushel per acre yield advantage.”

Wear attributes the yield boost to overall plant health. “We believe in planting beans early so the plants can get into their production cycle prior to heat or drought conditions which may result in stress. Plants stay healthier and do what they naturally need to do. They’re maturing instead of dying.”

Manufacturer Insights

“When growers make the investment in seed genetics, they need to protect that investment with a fungicide,” says Eric Tedford, technical manager for Syngenta. “Several years ago there were relatively few fungicides used in corn. Growers are now using more fungicides in corn and soybeans because they realize their return on investment.”

Tedford explains this trend started with the introduction of the soybean rust pathogen from Asia into Brazil and the U.S. “Although Asian soybean rust has never become a big threat in the U.S., the impending threat of this pathogen that can defoliate a soybean crop in five to seven days opened the doors for development and registration of several new fungicides for corn, soybeans and other crops.”

He points out that many years ago grey leaf spot in corn was labeled “the government’s disease” because it was the result of introducing no-till agriculture. “With no-till agriculture there was plenty of corn stubble left in the field allowing the grey leaf spot pathogen to overwinter.

“IPM is important, too. We really can’t rely on just insecticides and fungicides. With IPM, you’re talking about integrating cultural practices with chemicals, physical devices and genetics, says Tedford. “It’s complicated, but aligning all the pieces will help the grower to make the most profitable ROI.”

For more helpful information, Ted­ford recommends reading “The Seven Wonders of High-Yield Corn Production” as researched by Dr. Fred Below, professor of plant physiology at the University of Illinois.

In 2012 Syngenta will offer Quilt Xcel corn fungicide, a combination of Quadris and Tilt fungicide chemistries, to provide broadspectrum control of corn diseases. The product also helps maximize harvest efficiency and improve yields through greener plants, improved stalk quality, bigger ears, more kernels and complete ear fill.

The company will continue to offer Quadris fungicide to control a broad spectrum of diseases in corn and soybeans.

New for 2012 will be a cereals label for Syngenta Quilt Xcel fungicide which will provide longer-lasting, broadspectrum control of yielding-robbing diseases in wheat, barley and triticale.

“The environment is positive for more use of fungicides. Controlling yield-robbing pests can allow a grower to raise his crop two to three times cheaper per bushel and take advantage of current high commodity prices,” says Kevin Miller, MANA crop protection fungicide and insecticide product manager. He adds that “the industry is in a highly-progressive era of precision-based crop production and management.”

Miller explains: “The MANA Crop Protection organization is focused and committed to bringing new high performance products hosting advanced formulations to the marketplace.”

Miller continues by calling out that his organization remains driven in developing more exclusion solutions to crop production issues like white mold. “White mold in soybeans has presented a challenging problem in recent years in geographies where soils endured a cool, wet spring. Key areas for this have been across the North Central states and Upper Midwest,” reports Miller. “To growers’ disadvantage, there have been minimal options until now for addressing the critical disease issue.”

Just this past year, MANA Crop Protection introduced its Incognito 4.5F fungicide for broadspectrum disease control from white mold to frogeye leaf spot to mildew and rusts. “Last year was our launch which proved immediate and wide spread acceptance and demand for the product. “With the anticipation for white mold this spring in even more U.S. locations, more growers will have the opportunity to use the product in 2012,” says Miller.

Todd Robran, DuPont product manager for row crops, adds this advice: “Fungicides definitely help manage some of the risk and high-risk acres. Preventive and curative treatments should be combined with timely scouting,”

In addition to the disease control benefits provided by fungicides, many growers have seen the plant health benefits these products can provide.

Years of BASF research on plant health benefits confirms what many growers have seen in their fields,” said Nick Fassler, technical market manager, fungicides, for the company. “Headline fungicide and Headline AMP fungicide can improve plant health through effective control of fungal disease and improved stress tolerance. Combined, these features enable plants to better withstand disease and environmental stresses for improved crop harvestability, quality and yield.”

In studies on corn, Headline was shown to improve stalk strength and reduce plant stress caused by factors such as hail damage, frost and drought.

“Research shows that minimizing disease pressure, increasing stress tolerance and improving growth efficiency can improve stalk strength, seed quality and the overall plant health of crops. This leads to increased yield potential and gives growers the kind of return on investment they’re looking for,” says Fassler.

Leave a Reply

Fungicides Stories

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
FungicidesMANA Introduces Custodia Premix Fungicide For Row Crops
January 14, 2014
New fungicide for corn, soybeans, and wheat contains the two most complementary systemic active ingredients available today in an optimized ratio to deliver both preventive and curative disease control. Read More

Trending Articles

Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More
EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More
EquipmentGPS: 25 Years And Still Growing
June 2, 2014
The evolution of global positioning systems applications in agriculture remains ongoing as the technology hits a notable milestone. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100Pinnacle Forms Alliance With Wildlife Managment, Seed O…
July 25, 2014
The strategic alliance will provide Tecomate with key wildlife products, processing facilities, distribution centers and sales through Pinnacle’s ever-growing retail network. Read More
ManagementFranken Presses White House On RFS Support
July 25, 2014
Al Franken and a group of Senate democrats recently met with senior White House official John Podesta to urge the administration to change its position on an EPA proposal. Read More
ManagementASA, FarmLink To Launch ‘Operation Benchmark̵…
July 25, 2014
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and FarmLink are teaming up to help farmers close the $11 billion gap between what they harvested in 2013 and what they could harvest annually. Read More
StewardshipNorthey: Farmers Commit $1.4 Million to Try New Water Q…
July 25, 2014
The practices that are eligible for funding include cover crops, no-till or strip till and using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learn How Changing World Will Impact Iowa
July 24, 2014
Technology and understanding global consumer demand for Iowa farm products brought hundreds of farmers and agribusiness leaders to Ames recently for the annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economic Summit. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue: Late Season Weeds May Require Manual Removal
July 24, 2014
Hand-rouging and pulling late season weeds by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says. Read More
Soybean Field
InsecticidesTransform WG, Closer SC Insecticides Receive R&D 10…
July 23, 2014
Dow AgroSciences has received the award from R&D Magazine for Transform WG insecticide and Closer SC insecticide with Isoclast active. Read More
EquipmentKinze, Raven Team Up On 4900 Planter Monitor
July 23, 2014
Kinze Manufacturing announces a partnership with Raven Industries to develop a standalone monitor solution for the Kinze 4900 series planter. With this new Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Continues To Confuse As Growers Await USD…
July 23, 2014
The new five-year Farm Bill eliminates many of the direct payments previously payed to growers and could benefit from USDA clarification, reports a Toledo Blade columnist. Read More
EquipmentPrecisionAg.com Relaunches With Responsive Design For M…
July 22, 2014
PrecisionAg, the worldwide leader in precision agriculture information and analysis, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, PrecisionAg.com. Read More
FungicidesEPA OKs Two Willowood Fungicides
July 21, 2014
The EPA has approved Willowood Azoxy 2SC and Willowood AzoxyProp Xtra. two widely used broad spectrum, preventative fungicides with systemic and curative properties. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learning Fast As UAVs Take Off
July 17, 2014
Farmers and others interested in how UAVs can be used in agricultural applications were able to learn more about the technology during the recent Precision Aerial Ag Show. Read More
CropLife 100Bobby Knight, Richard Petty To Highlight Ag PhD Field D…
July 17, 2014
Attendees at the July 24 Ag PhD Field Day at Hefty Farms will learn about the latest agricultural technologies, and get a chance to meet legendary sports figures Bobby Knight and Richard Petty. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
July 17, 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
A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Sells Carbon Credits To Chevrolet, Donate…
July 17, 2014
CF Industries has completed the sale of a large block of carbon reduction credits to Chevrolet, and will donate the net proceeds of $600,000 to the National FFA Foundation. Read More
CropLife 100Grainland Cooperative, Minier Cooperative Grain To Merg…
July 17, 2014
The shareholders of Grainland Cooperative and Minier Cooperative Grain Co. approved a merger of company operations effective August 1, 2014. Read More
ManagementStudy: Drought Costing California Billions
July 17, 2014
A new study has found the drought has cost the state $2.2 billion, primarily in lost farm revenue and wages. Read More