Replant ’08 Series: BASF

The weather across the Midwest this summer has been frightening at times, and many growers are facing replant decisions. What do crop protection manufacturers have in their arsenal to help your growers?

First up in this series of reports is BASF, which says plant health benefits are key.

Weather across much of the Midwest this spring has created conditions that are favorable for increased disease pressure and risk of reduced yields.

"Late-planted and stressed corn crops are prime candidates for late-season disease and ultimately reduced yields," says Nick Fassler, technical manager for Plant Health with BASF. "It’s a well-established fact that later-maturing crops are often subject to increased late-season disease pressure that builds after the reproductive stage. This is made worse by the fact that unfavorable spring conditions have stressed this year’s crop, making it difficult for it to get off to a good, strong start.

"Crops standing in water face pressure, such as susceptibility to disease, stalk weakening, and reduced nitrogen utilization," continues Fassler. "Headline fungicide provides growers with exceptional disease control, stalk strength and standability, and ultimately provides a positive return on investment (ROI) contributing to improved yield and crop quality. These are important considerations, particularly at a time of record commodity prices."

With a planned application of Headline fungicide on their corn crops, growers can expect broad spectrum foliar disease control from a range of common corn diseases. With increased disease pressure from the extended wet weather that has been experienced in the Midwest, effective disease control will take on even more importance. "In addition to disease control, Headline delivers a number of other significant Plant Health benefits, including growth efficiency, stress tolerance, and improved harvestability," says Fassler.

Fassler also points out that research demonstrates a link between disease control, Plant Health, and the efficient use of nitrogen. Excessive rainfall depletes nitrogen through leaching and denitrification. Headline helps plants make better use of nitrogen, resulting in more yield-producing growth. It also helps plants improve their own natural defenses to cope with stress conditions, such as those being experienced this year, and also maximizes stalk strength.

With commodity prices approaching $15 for soybeans and $7 for corn, the benefits of Headline translate into a positive ROI in both crops. "The disease control and Plant Health benefits of Headline — and the resulting yield advantages — are well established," says Fassler. "In a year of record commodity prices and challenging weather conditions, the importance of protecting the yield potential of crops takes on even more significance."

Headline is the most researched fungicide on the market today, with proven ROI and yield advantages. In more than 5,000 on-farm trials conducted over four years under a variety of conditions, Headline-treated corn has demonstrated an average yield increase of 12 bushels per acre (bu/A) to 16 bu/A over untreated corn. In soybeans, the yield advantage in Headline-treated fields was 4 bu/A to 8 bu/A.

For more information about Headline fungicide and the BASF portfolio of crop protection products, visit www.agproducts.basf.com.

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