Early Season Corn and Soybean Fungicide

As the corn fields approach the V5 growth stage many growers are talking about all the various products or methods to potentially increase their corn and soybean yields. In terms of early season corn applications of fungicides, there are many things to consider before deciding to make the investment.

Corn: Many fungicides on the market today are preventative treatments. They need to be applied before the onset of disease infection, thus making the decision to make an application one that needs a bit of thought behind it. To have a disease there needs to be a favorable environment, a susceptible host, and the disease pathogen itself. This is also known as the “disease triangle”. Most commonly used products on the market are Priaxor™ and Stratego® YLD. Both products are strobilurin chemicals. In my experience, the greatest chances of seeing a yield response with a fungicide application is in these two situations:

  • Hybrids that have lower disease tolerance levels
  • Corn-on-corn rotation situations

Here are some corn fungicide application tips:

  • V5-V7 growth stage
  • Use flat spray nozzles to improve coverage
  • Combine with an early herbicide application to reduce further application costs

Soybeans: Unless your field is experiencing a very wet situation, early season fungicide isn’t quite as profitable as applications made during the later season reproductive stages. Alternatively, if you are in an area where there is excess moisture, this is when an early season fungicide application with your first herbicide pass can add some increase in yield. Similar to corn, the application needs to be made before disease occurrence. Here are things to consider before using a fungicide in soybeans:

  • Field history
  • Genetic disease resistance
  • Variety response to fungicide

In conclusion, if your environment is conducive to disease occurrence consider spending a little extra now to help protect yield later in the season. If there are any questions on specific products and application timings, please reach out to your Legend Sales Agronomist for more information.

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Jeff Sorenson

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