Corn Hybrid Response to Foliar Fungicides

Categories: GROWING, CORN
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  • Making farm and field fungicide decisions can be complex.
  • Results from this study help understand hybrid susceptibility to disease and the response to fungicide which help in the decision process.
There are many factors that go into making fungicide application decisions. Scouting and timely applications should always be the biggest drivers in the final decision. There are many levels of complexity beyond scouting that go into making farm-by-farm fungicide decisions. Golden Harvest® Agronomy In Action researchers conduct a yearly study to better understand the potential of individual hybrids' response to fungicide treatment.

Understanding hybrid susceptibility to a disease is extremely important in fields where disease pressure is highly predictable. It is more challenging to forecast an economic response within fields that rarely have noticeable disease presence. Results from this study will help utilize both elements to increase the chances of seeing a consistent fungicide response. Hybrid ratings for disease susceptibility and consistency with an R1 foliar fungicide response with low disease presence are provided as a decision-making tool for high and low disease risk fields.

Estimating Response with Low Disease Presence
Roughly 30 fungicide trials are established each year using Miravis® Neo fungicide applied at the R1 growth stage (Figure 1) to evaluate consistency of individual hybrid response. Yield response varied greatly across hybrids and locations (Figure 2), allowing response ratings in both high and low disease environments. Yield response was used to rate the potential for fungicide response of each hybrid in the following method:
  • Compare yield benefits of each hybrid to the same hybrid without fungicide.
  • Evaluate individual hybrid response relative to the response of other hybrids in the trial.
  • Understand the frequency of response across trials.
  • Combine results into 4 response potential categories: Best, Good, Fair, Poor
Predicting Disease Risk for Each Field
Predicting disease development is challenging. However, timely fungicide applications prior to disease establishment almost always pay off. If disease risk is high, it is important to plant hybrids with good disease tolerance to the specific disease risk of the field. Beyond hybrid selection, consider the following factors that put fields at more risk for disease presence:
  • Continuous corn rotation
  • High residue levels for opportunities for pathogens to overwinter due to reduced tillage
  • Favorable weather patterns, such as high precipitation and warm temperatures that are advantageous for disease development
  • History of standability issues
  • Observations of disease presence across multiple years
  • Early signs of disease infection on lower leaves
Benefits Beyond Yield – Stronger Stalks
In addition to disease control and potential yield response benefits, there are additional benefits from a fungicide application. Multiple hybrids were also evaluated in 2020 for stalk strength by comparing an untreated check and a Miravis Neo fungicide application. Consistent force was applied to multiple stalks and plants subsiding to the pressure were recorded as % of plants artificially lodging. This illustrated the inherit differences in stalk strength between hybrids (compare orange bars), as well as the ability to improve stalk strength of specific hybrids that may be more prone to lodging (Graph 1). 
 
The graph indicates that utilizing a foliar fungicide can:
  • Significantly improve stalk integrity
  • Reduce stalk lodging
  • Decrease harvest losses
  • Reduce harvest time
An additional benefit observed with Miravis Neo treatment is plants often stay green longer, allowing longer periods of photosynthesis for more plant growth and extended grain fill time. Also, in short periods of drought, water loss has been found to be reduced, helping corn better tolerate stress.


 
For more information on corn foliar fungicide application and treatment, contact your local Golden Harvest Seed Advisor.

Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.
Syngenta hereby disclaims liability for third-party websites.
Performance assessments are based upon results or analysis of public information, field observations and/or internal Syngenta evaluations.
Product performance assumes disease presence.


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