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Disease Rep Makes Case For Early Corn Fungicide Application

Disease Rep Makes Case For Early Corn Fungicide Application
Recommendation targeted to growers after high yields and farming in conditions that would favor leaf disease development.

In many areas of Indiana, a sizable portion of the corn crop is already planted. Some corn is up. Based on early planting and good conditions in many areas, despite a few bumps along the way with cold temperature setbacks, Gery Welker sees the opportunity for good yield potential for many corn fields in Indiana this year. Welker is the Technical Service Representative for BASF for Indiana.

Disease Rep Makes Case For Early Corn Fungicide Application

Welker believes an early application of Headline at the V5 to V8 stage when followed by an application of Headline AMP at tassel can prevent problems with anthracnose, and more importantly with early onset of gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight. The goal of this early application would be to prevent the disease form developing lesions on any leaves, not just the crucial leaves at or above ear level later in the season.

The V5 to V8 stage is the 5-leaf to 8 leaf stage. The growing point emerges at V5 to V6 in most situations. Many producers may be able to save an application trip and cost by applying the fungicide at the same time they make a pass for herbicide, Welker says.

Various university specialists have reservations and point to inconsistent data for these early applications. Welker notes that the biggest chance for pay-off is in fields or on farms where the risk of disease is highest. "If you're striving for the highest yields, planting continuous corn  or in no-till, there is more disease pressure," he says. "This is where the sequential application really fits."

If you're planting in conventional tillage in rotation and perhaps a bit later than some, the disease potential may be lower, he observes. There would be much less potential to see benefit from the early fungicide application in these situations, Welker says.

Welker recommends an application of Headline AMP at tassel to protect the crop form late-season foliar diseases. If you're only applying one application, it should be Headline AMP at tassel, the BASF specialist says. He adds that a sequential program provides complete disease protection throughout the growing season.


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