Beyond Disease Control: 4 Benefits of Corn Fungicide Applications
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 all the way into harvest.
Syngenta agronomy service representative Chad Threewits shares 4 benefits of corn fungicide applications:
- 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 yields. In these cases, fungicide applications can help the plant cope by improving water-use efficiency.
- Fungicides may help plants stay green, helping to keep the corn plant producing yield longer.
Quality fungicides offer long residual benefits which often show up in the form of improved plant health. According to Threewits, the longer we can keep the plant alive and keep that factory going, the more opportunity we’ll have to protect yield, fill out kernels, improve kernel depth and increase test weight.
- Fungicides may improve standability and thus harvestability.
Looking ahead in the season, fungicide applications can improve standability and help prevent stalk lodging. According to Purdue University Extension, 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.
- 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%.
As mentioned in the video, 2 products we recommend for the R1 growth stage are Miravis® Neo and Trivapro® fungicides. Both help crops produce more bushels more often and keep plants healthier longer in a way that is visually distinguishable from other treatments.
- For the northern regions, Miravis Neo sets the standard in its class for broad-spectrum disease control of diseases like gray leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight and tar spot.
- For the southern regions, Trivapro is a hard-working, long-lasting fungicide with preventive and curative control of rusts, leaf spots and blights.
With a planned fungicide application, growers can rest assured that their corn crop is safer from diseases and set up to achieve its maximum yield potential.
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