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Beyond Disease Control: 4 Benefits of Corn Fungicide Applications

May 27, 2021

Fungicides are a central part of many high-performing corn programs, because diseases can take a big chunk out of a grower’s bottom line. But it’s not just disease control that allows fungicides to drive yield potential higher. A well-timed corn fungicide application can pay off big in plant-health benefits that last through harvest.

  1. Fungicides may help plants thrive in stressful conditions, such as drought.

In dry conditions, fields may have low disease pressure, but they may also be experiencing drought stress. Symptoms of drought stress include leaf curling, poorly formed root structures and reduced nutrient availability, all of which can negatively impact yield. In these cases, fungicide applications can help the plant cope by improving water-use efficiency.

  1. Fungicides may keep plants greener, longer helping to keep the corn plant producing yield.

Quality fungicides offer long residual benefits that often show up in the form of improved plant health. The longer we can keep the plant alive, the more opportunity we’ll have to protect yield, fill out kernels, improve kernel depth and increase test weight.

  1. Fungicides may improve standability and, thus, harvestability.

Looking ahead in the season, fungicide applications can improve standability and help prevent stalk lodging.  Purdue University Extension says lodging can cause annual yield losses from 5-25% and impact grain quality. Additionally, severely lodged corn creates many management concerns such as increased harvest losses, harvest time and drying cost.

  1. Fungicides may reduce ear drop, a leading cause of volunteer corn.

Drought stress, disease and rapid dry down can increase ear and kernel drop. This is because the plant has been weakened by these stressors, and as the ears begin to fill in, the stalk is unable to hold them. These dropped kernels create volunteer corn, which is problematic for a field going back into soybeans the following season. Volunteer corn can have a large impact on future yields and should be proactively managed through herbicide applications, adding another line item onto input costs. If left untreated, university studies show that volunteer corn infestations can reduce soybean yields by as much as 40%.

Canalou, MO; 2020; Application timing: R1; Diseases present: Heavy Southern rust, moderate gray leaf spot

With a planned fungicide application, you can rest assured that your corn crop is safer from diseases and set up to achieve its maximum yield potential. That’s why we recommend Trivapro® fungicide. As the hardest-working, longest-lasting fungicide, Trivapro delivers superior preventive and curative control of rusts, leaf spots and blights, and keeps plants healthier longer. To find out how much more yield you could be harvesting with Trivapro, visit our Yield Calculator.

And if you’re interested in maximizing your soybeans’ yield potential, consider Miravis® Top fungicide. Miravis Top contains the first SDHI for soybeans that offers both disease control and plant-health benefits to help protect yield and ROI potential.

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