5 Reasons Why Complementing Your Hybrid With a Fungicide Pays Off

Corn plants fungicides and hybrids

Complementing corn hybrids with fungicides helps growers maximize yields.

While planning for the growing season ahead, selecting herbicides to complement corn hybrids is almost always a given. Selecting a fungicide, on the other hand, is often an afterthought that occurs once disease first appears. However, planning ahead and selecting a fungicide to complement a hybrid choice before the growing season even starts may also be beneficial for maximizing yields and profit.

“It is well known that hybrids provide benefits, such as drought resistance to growers” said Randy Myers, fungicides product development manager at Bayer. “It is also well known that fungicides improve plant health and prevent disease.”

“What may be less known about fungicides though, is that they can complement corn hybrids to help achieve maximum yields,” said Myers.

5 reasons fungicides pay off

Corn hybrids, when complemented with a fungicide, have the potential to achieve maximum yields and increase profits. Fungicides pay off when complementing corn hybrids for five key reasons.

1. Hybrid selection

A key reason why fungicides pay off is that they may help maximize the performance of corn hybrids. Hybrids have varying levels of disease susceptibility. Fungicides provide an added layer of disease control. Select a fungicide that will help control diseases the hybrid is not resistant to, for improved plant health and maximum yields.i

2. Weather patterns

Weather patterns are difficult to predict when planning for the upcoming growing season. However, using a fungicide helps prevent weather-related disease and damage to crops. Rainy and humid weather is more favorable for the development of foliar disease.ii Be proactive and use a fungicide for disease protection and control before it begins. Weather can also cause crop damage. Hail and high winds may cause substantial damage or downing of crops. Using a fungicide strengthens plant stalks and promotes good standability, helping minimize weather-related damage. Less weather-related damage and disease means more profit at the end of the season.

3. Irrigation frequency

The frequency of irrigation is another factor to consider in pairing a fungicide and corn hybrid. Frequent irrigation provides more moisture, which is necessary in dry areas. However, if there is excess moisture, crops are more likely to develop foliar disease.i A fungicide helps prevent disease and protect yields when excess moisture puts corn hybrids at risk.

4. Field history and characteristics

Fungicides also help maximize performance of hybrids in fields that have a history of disease or characteristics that may make the crop more susceptible. Fields with low areas, fields that are surrounded by trees, and fields with poor drainage are also more likely to retain excess moisture.ii  Thus, hybrids planted in these fields are more susceptible to disease. Fungicides help foster improved plant health and prevent disease to maximize yields in susceptible fields. 

5. Time of planting

The final reason that fungicides may pay off is related to time of planting. Sometimes weather and field conditions delay planting and fast-growing hybrids are often selected to make up for lost time. However, fast-growing corn tends to be more susceptible to disease.iii  When corn plants grow faster, the waxy layers of the leaf surface are often thinner. Because these waxy layers are the first line of defense against infections, fast-growing corn is more vulnerable to foliar diseases. Therefore, complementing a late-planted, fast-growing hybrid with a fungicide can help prevent disease.

Bayer solutions for disease management  

A well-planned disease management program can be important for achieving maximum yields and profit. A good disease management program includes proper corn hybrid selection and fungicide applications with multiple modes of action that are tough on diseases.

Delaro® can complement corn hybrids to help growers achieve maximum yields. “Delaro provides broad-spectrum disease control,” said Myers. “With two modes of action, Delaro is a great complement for corn hybrids due to the preventative and curative defense it provides against tough diseases.”

Using Delaro on corn hybrids can also improve plant health. Delaro promotes healthy, dark leaves for improved photosynthesis and increased stress resistance. These features help utilize the full genetic potential and yield of corn hybrids.

©2018 Bayer CropScience LP, 800 North Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO  63167. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer, the Bayer Cross and Delaro are registered trademarks of Bayer. Delaro is not registered in all states. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at www.CropScience.Bayer.us.

Work Cited

i Kleczewski, N. “Foliar fungicides for corn – yes or no?” University of Deleware, 2017. http://extension.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=10800

ii Chilvers, M. “Corn disease management decisions.” Michigan State University Extension, 2017. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/corn_disease_management_decisions

iii Bergstron, G.C. “Corn and soybean diseases in the northeastern U.S.” Cornell University, Department of Plant Pathology, 2014. http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/wp-content/uploads/BergstromVermontCornSoyforPost1.21.14.pdf

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