Like so many things in farming, disease control and planning crop inputs are anything but simple. Disease symptoms in corn can be deceiving and easily confused.
A common misperception is that fungicides are helpful only if disease is present in the crop. That’s actually not the case. In addition to the traditional application timing between the VT and R2 growth stages, many growers are now realizing the benefits of treating the crop between V4 and V7, both with and without subsequent fungicide sprays. This practice has been shown to actually improve yields.
Early season fungicide application can benefit corn in four key ways:
- Protect young plants against Anthracnose leaf blight and eyespot, among other diseases.
- Improve stalk strength with reduced risk of lodging and green snap for better harvestability.
- Promote greener plants with a better window of grain fill.
- Improve yield results when combined with a tassel spray rather than from a tassel spray alone.
During early growth stages, corn plants go through critical changes that affect how much of the yield potential will be achieved. Having to secure all of their own nutrients and resources for the first time, plants are very susceptible to environmental stresses and diseases.
Applying a fungicide such as Delaro® or Stratego® YLD at this phase is not only convenient, it also offers early season disease control and more complete plant coverage.
Of course, it all comes down to the ROI. Will the earlier fungicide application improve yield enough to more than pay for the cost of product and labor?
You don’t have to run the numbers on your own to determine which fungicide program will deliver the greatest return on your investment.