October 16, 2021

Channel Field Check Up Series: Clearing up questions about fungicide applications

The corn vegetative and early reproductive stages are a critical time for farmers. During these growth stages, problems in the field can still be remedied to keep yield potential on track.

The challenge is choosing the right inputs. Some choices are easier than others. If weeds are a problem, spraying an herbicide is an obvious choice. If corn is showing yellow leaves from nitrogen deficiency, side-dressing could be necessary.

The criteria for fungicide applications on corn can be less clear-cut. With aggressive commodity markets in play, farmers may want to protect high yield potential by keeping fields healthy.

Supporting the yield potential of products with limited disease tolerance or with increased susceptibility due to management practices might require a more in-depth analysis of costs and benefits.

To date, the conditions for disease in Illinois are increasing in areas that received ample to excess rain toward the end of June. Evaluate fields for disease presence and monitor the type and movement of the disease in the corn canopy.

Prior to applying a fungicide, evaluate fields for disease susceptibility and severity, the current yield potential of each field and corn stage of development.

Next, check the weather forecast to evaluate if upcoming conditions will continue to promote disease development. Finally, consider the cost of treatment and corn price to determine if the application can support profitability.

Keep in mind that marketing decisions and corn price received is an ongoing dynamic. Identify the disease present, disease life cycle and the product rating for the disease to fine-tune your decision.

The profitability calculator tool at Channel.com is available to help evaluate the cost effectiveness of midseason inputs.

Research suggests fungicide timing impacts efficacy and not all fungicide products are created equal. Check product labels to confirm the fungicide you select will control the disease species in your field. Check in with your local Channel Seedsman for more information about fungicides.

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