Farm Progress

That's one option for growers who are concerned about fungal diseases as is the 'wait-and-see' management approach.

June 21, 2016

2 Min Read

Severe storms over the weekend in parts of Minnesota did some damage to crops.

High winds and heavy rains flattened corn and left standing water in many fields, reported Bruce Potter, University of Minnesota Extension IPM specialist based in Lamberton.

Potter noted in his blog that he saw light to severe hail damage in several areas in Brown and Redwood counties.

“While it was too wet to get out and actually evaluate injury, it looks like some fields may be a total loss,” he wrote. However, it was still too early to give an official loss estimate as that activity needs to wait three to four days after the storm.

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Potter said that hail often allows the entry of bacterial soft rots and other disease like Goss's in corn and bacterial blight of soybeans. Fungal diseases that are most typically associated with hail include corn smut and stalk rots. These diseases take several days, or longer, for symptoms to develop but cannot be controlled by fungicides.

He added that he recently heard from an agronomic consultant working in hail-affected area. The consultant was concerned that growers were being advised to apply fungicide to hailed crops within 48 hours of the event.

“This story seems to surface any time there is hail,” Potter noted, adding that due to saturated soils, applications in this area would need to go on by air.”

Potter said he was not aware of any published data that suggests an economic benefit to applying fungicide in the absence of a controllable disease. A lack of healthy tissue to absorb and move the fungicides and lack of disease controllable by fungicides may be the reason.

Applying a fungicide to hailed corn is not illegal, he added, and is a management decision that a grower may choose to make.

“Another management option would be to wait and determine yield potential of the crop,” he said. “Then, where controllable diseases are present, fungicides could be applied later and at a time better for an economic yield response.”

Source: University of Minnesota Extension

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