These days one of the common sights that you may encounter in July and August in the farmland is the flying planes that will be delivering fungicide across the farmland. The producers have noticed a rise in foliar disease pressure during the production of corn, and are able to understand the health benefits of fungicide to corn plants. However, with the high application of fungicide using the farming equipment, the producers must ensure that the application must not be an automatic decision for all farmland in any season of the year.
Instead, the farmers must focus on the fields that are more prone to catching the disease and have a history of disease as well. The farmland that is planted with a susceptible hybrid, and fields where you may notice an increased morning dew or fog, will surely be responsible for helping in limiting the resistance to fungicide chemistries from developing.
Checking the fields regularly and keeping information about diseases occurring in your surrounding area is considered as the best method for identifying when fungicides application must be done to the corn plant using the latest agriculture equipment. When it is decided to apply a fungicide to the corn, the timing of the application is crucial for economic gain and higher potential yield with fungicides.
Optimum timing for application of fungicides on corn
One question that the farmers must give thought to is that whether the fungicide treatment is given when a disease is present on the corn, or the fungicide should be applied early in the season considering as a preventive measure?
Corn is known as the most vulnerable to yield loss due to the tasselling. As the corn plants are all set to approach their maturity, there are fewer chances of yield loss because of foliar disease. Thus, fungicide applications must typically occur during the period of growth and maturity of the corn in order to maximize protection.
During the growing season, there is a possibility that the corn may get affected by any one or more of the foliar diseases. Some of the foliar diseases that affect corn are gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, etc. The fungicide application also depends upon the history of disease and the prevailing environmental conditions at present.
For instance, gray leaf spots can be prevented or reduced with an earlier V12 application. On the other hand, southern rust is a late-season disease, wherein an earlier application of the fungicide will not be of any value. To prevent the corn plant from southern rust, the fungicide is applied when the corn growth stage is between R1 and R3. This is helpful in better protection for corn as well as for generating higher yield.
According to the foliar disease, considering the hybrid planted and environmental conditions, an application of fungicide application during the phase of at tasselling (VT) and up to silking (R1) will show higher potential benefits and increase in yield.
Earlier applications of the fungicide on Corn plant
However, the application of a farmer applied earlier in the season, such as V6, and VT directly affects the yield of the corn plant. The suggested application time frame of VT on the corn is during R1 over V6. It must also be noticed that the farmer’s chances of recovering the cost of the fungicide program can be enhanced with later application timing (VT) for preventing multiple fungicide classes.
In-furrow application of the fungicide
In-furrow application of the fungicide is known for preventing the loss of yield and for better control of the corn disease. The in-furrow application of the fungicide has provided some positive results as well as financial benefits to the producers. The in-furrow application of fungicide is economical and controls the attack of certain diseases. However, it is suggested that the farmers must do their own research for the application of the fungicide, considering the weather conditions and the history.
Many decisions of the farmers related to the application of the fungicide to a cornfield are related to gain maximum efficiencies and potential profitability. However, it must be understood that the fungicides will only be effective in preventing and controlling disease while there are a number of potential diseases and hosts of pests, environmental conditions, variety of seed, use of latest farming equipment, etc. that are equally responsible for the yield of the corn. The farmland must be regularly scouted to identify if there is any presence of a disease and the level of its severity, and then the correct fungicide is selected to control the disease and is applied at the suitable timings. Fungicides are a helpful tool for farmers that protect corn from yield loss. However, fungicides should be applied wisely and at a suitable time in order to avail the benefits of a higher yield of corn.