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Consider Early Fungicide Application Before Corn Gets Too BigConsider Early Fungicide Application Before Corn Gets Too Big

Companies say early application will pay for itself.

Tom Bechman 1

June 20, 2013

2 Min Read

If the weather stays warm and wet, this could be a season when foliar disease lesions appear on corn early. That's the word from Eric Tedford, Syngenta Crop Protection. If corn is still in the V4 to V8 stage, he recommends considering applying a fungicide.

The product he recommends from his company's line is Quilt Excel. It contains two ingredients, he notes, one of which has properties that help corn grow better even in the absence of disease.

"The physiological benefit can help even in years when disease isn't a big issue," he says. "It will also help with stay-green at the end of the season."


University trials over the past few years have generally not shown a large increase for applying fungicides when corn is between V4 and V8. At this stage, four to eight leaves and leaf collars are fully exposed. The growing point comes above the ground somewhere around V5 to V6.

Tedford says that in their research plots, they have shown consistent benefit in quantities large enough to more than pay for the treatment and application cost when applying on young corn. He's aware that university trials have not shown the same results.

"We believe it has to do with the alley effect," Tedford notes. "When researchers test in small plots since they are replicating, there are often alleyways within the plot. When we have tried the same thing in our plots, we get the same results they do.

"However, when we test in larger plots or in farmer test trials, we see significantly more yield increase. At today's prices it doesn't take a large increase to break even and then produce extra net profit."

The same fungicide can also be applied at tasseling time. Be sure to follow label directions when applying this or any other fungicide. Pay special attention to application windows if you apply around tasseling time, he says.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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