November 29, 2021

Fungicides play supporting role in boosting soybean health, yields

MARKLE, Ind. — To be a star, you have to have a great supporting cast. For soybean plants, fungicides play that role.

“The rain makes the yield, but the fungicide helps get us there and gets us through some droughty times with that water-use efficiency,” said Chad Threewits, a Syngenta Agronomy service representative for Northern Indiana.

The most common role of fungicides on soybeans is the control of fungal diseases.

An equally important job of fungicides is to help enhance the health of the soybean plant to enable the plant to reach its maximum potential.

“With Miravis® Neo we see a greening effect. I’m not talking about a greening effect later in the season, but right after we apply it. You can see a greener, more robust plant right after application. With the older fungicides we didn’t see that. With new fungicides like Miravis Neo, we see that fairly consistently,” Threewits said.

That immediate greening effect means Miravis Neo is getting right to work, not just protecting the plant from fungal disease, but also boosting the plant’s ability to keep growing even through difficult weather conditions.

“On soybeans, I say it’s more about plant health when it comes to fungicides. With Miravis Neo, it has plant-health benefits that really help on that soybean acre, keeping the plants cleaner and greener. Say we have a dry spell in late July and early August. Miravis Neo can help us get through those dry times and manage water better,” Threewits said.

Those plant-health benefits keep the plant alive and growing through dry times and enable soybean plants to utilize whatever rain comes along.

“Fungicides, like Miravis Neo, keep that plant alive and keep it healthy so the soybean plant can take advantage of a rainfall later in the season,” Threewits said.

With the patented ADEPIDYN® technology, Miravis Neo provides long-lasting control against diseases, including in spots where diseases like white mold and frogeye leaf spot occur on an annual basis.

“There continue to be areas where we are always going to see disease pressure. There are always pockets that are going to have white mold. The new products, like Miravis Neo, have suppression on white mold that gives additional control there,” Threewits said.

Threewits explained that with more growers moving to early-planted soybeans, it becomes more important to protect those plants — and that potential yield — against disease.

“If we plant early, we end up getting more nodes on a soybean plant. If you get more nodes and early growth, it is even more critical to protect those nodes. The soybean yield equation is all about nodes and the number of pods and the number of seeds in the pod. The more nodes we have, the more we have to protect that plant to maximize that yield,” Threewits said.

With commodity prices trending higher, Threewits said some growers are moving toward a two-pass fungicide application in soybeans.

“I have had more growers looking at doing two applications in soybeans. When they are doing all the other things to maximize yields and shooting for those 100-bushel soybean yields, planting early, using herbicides with strong residuals, the next step is an earlier fungicide application, and then coming back again at R3 with a fungicide application. There are not as many soybean acres in that two-pass system as there are in corn, but strong commodity prices are prompting soybean growers to move toward that, and they are seeing the benefits,” Threewits said.

Product performance assumes disease presence.

© 2021 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. ADEPIDYN® and Miravis® are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

This column was contributed by Indiana AgriNews for Syngenta.

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor