If you have sprayed fungicides on soybeans before, it's likely one of the practices on your list of possible things you could skip to save money this year. If you haven't sprayed fungicides on soybeans in the past, it's not likely on your list of things to add simply because of increased cost.
Andrew Fisher, fungicide product lead for Syngenta, says in either case, don't make the decision without considering the risk and reward process. Data compiled by Syngenta shows that even at lower soybean prices, if that holds through this marketing year, fungicide applications can more than pay for themselves. They can provide a return on your investment, Fisher says.
Fisher understands the importance of return on investment. That means that the cost of the fungicide and the application cost must not only produce enough extra bushels to pay for themselves, but must produce enough more beans to actually show more return for fields that were sprayed vs. fields that were not sprayer. He's confident that can be the case.
"It's very important to get the timing right," he emphasizes. "Our recommendation is to apply the fungicide at the R3 stage of soybean development. Our data says that's when you have the best chance of seeing the largest possible return on investment."
According to the Purdue University Corn & Soybean Field Guide, R3 is the stage when pods are beginning to form. The official description of the R3 stage is 'the pod is about one-fourth inch long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf.'
In the past some have sprayed from R2 to R4. The R2 stage is a reproductive stage, but the plant is in full bloom with open flowers, but no pods have begun to develop yet.
Fisher suggests Quadris Top SB as the product of choice in their line-up. It contains two active ingredients.
For farmers to maximize soybean yields, they need to maximize their management. Often soybean management takes a backseat to corn, but it doesn't have to. Download our free report, Boost Your Soybean Yield, for a one-stop look at ways you can better manage your crop.