January 18, 2022

Fungicide management advancing to meet tar spot, Southern rust head on

FREEBURG, Ill. — Fungal diseases in corn, like tar spot, are advancing.

“It’s out there. I would say Illinois had tar spot from north to south this year,” said Phil Krieg, Syngenta Agronomy service representative based in Southern Illinois.

Along with the advance of fungal diseases, fungicide technology and fungicide management also are advancing. Trivapro® from Syngenta, with SOLATENOL® technology, is a primary weapon in the fight against yield-robbing fungal diseases.

“We have tar spot confirmed as far south as Kentucky this year,” Krieg said.

Krieg added that at his Grow More™ Experience site at Rend Lake College in Ina, tar spot made an appearance in corn plots.

On top of the tar spot advance, for growers in the southern part of Illinois, a more familiar fungal disease, Southern rust, made an early and unwelcome appearance this year.

“The biggest disease we had this year was Southern rust. Southern rust came in earlier than normal and was very prolific. It had the perfect weather conditions to really reproduce,” Krieg said.

Krieg is talking to growers not only about the benefits of Trivapro, but about the benefits of a dual-application management system of fungicide.

“When we look at fungicide use, these products have got to have the ability to last. The longer that product can be active on those leaves and in that plant, the better protection we will get,” he said.

Trivapro is designed to have longer residual control of fungal diseases in corn and the two-pass system is a way to extend even that superior residual control. Even longer control is vital when it comes to diseases like tar spot.

“The two-pass fungicide application system is going to be an important tool in controlling tar spot. The first application is made early, during those vegetative stages, then that is followed by another application in the reproductive stages,” Krieg said.

Krieg said a two-pass application of Trivapro can help stop diseases like tar spot before the disease can attack the plant and weaken the stalk. In addition, Trivapro also provides a plant-health benefit that can help corn plants endure extended dry periods.

“We are going to pick up early plant-health benefits, whether we have disease or not. Then it is going to help us protect against tar spot and Southern rust. Trivapro has the ability to stay active and last longer in that plant to protect it for a longer period of time,” he said.

Krieg said the combination of Trivapro, with its long-lasting residual control, and the two-pass application system is vital in a growing environment like Southern Illinois.

“We have a season of disease that doesn’t stop. We have high humidity and heavy dews that help fungal organisms thrive and grow. We have a lot of minimum tillage, so we have a lot of residue on our soil surfaces. We have a lot of cover crops. There is a lot of residue down here that helps harbor disease from year to year and crop to crop,” he said.

Krieg said he has enjoyed watching farmers find out for themselves how Trivapro can protect against fungal diseases, improve and preserve plant health and keep stalks healthy to harvest, all for those bushels that pay at the end of the day.

“How we approach this is not to go out and tell farmers, ‘This is what you need to be doing.’ We really want to teach them on their farms how to maximize their yield potential with products like Trivapro,” he said.

That approach is one that works.

“Once farmers have seen the benefits of Trivapro on their own farms, they understand the return on investment using it and they adopt it,” Krieg 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. Grow More™, SOLATENOL® and Trivapro® are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

This column was contributed by Illinois AgriNews for Syngenta.

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor