Consider Fungicides Early, Not Late

Feb 28, 2024

fungicides written on white board
Fungicides on corn aren’t “something you hear about every day,” especially when your farm is located in east-central Minnesota or western Wisconsin, said Mike Slater, Federated’s Rush City location manager. You might “read about them in a chemical company’s sales ad or at some meeting,” so why would fungicides be important here and now?
Because the what-ifs of any growing season require good crop management – starting now. And here’s why:
  • Fungicides help with overall plant health. They protect plants from disease, and they help regulate water usage when it’s dry.
  • Diseases are unpredictable, but they tend to follow trends. Common corn diseases can be combated with early fungicide applications.
  • Other diseases, such as tar spot, a foliar disease, crept into Federated’s service areas in 2022. The 2023 season didn’t see a significant outbreak due to dry conditions, but the pathogen that causes tar spot can overwinter in fields. See this map and note the locations where tar spot has been discovered.
Good crop management pays attention to the possibilities for disease and defines measures for treatment before the need is critical. These factors need to be considered:
  • Fungicide supplies tighten as the season progresses; it’s important to act early to ensure supply.
  • Fungicides are best applied between VT and R1, which can be difficult without special equipment. Federated is able to source machines (such as a drone or airplane) for these applications, but that takes time.
    • Federated primarily recommends Miravis® Neo from Syngenta®, but other products from Corteva® and Bayer®, as well as generic options, are available.
  • Some fungicides, such as Xyway® from FMC®, can be applied at planting with the planter through a liquid starter system.
    • Xyway does not have any effect on tar spot, but it is a season-long fungicide for the most common corn diseases.
    • Slater noted that he has used Xyway on his corn crop the last few years, and plant health was visually noticeable in those fields.
If you have questions about fungicides and/or the diseases that demand them, talk to your Federated Agronomist. Don’t let treatable diseases rob your bottom line.

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