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Industry introduces new fungicide to help meet yield potential

As yield expectations are being pushed higher and higher each year for corn and soybeans, growers, crop consultants and farm managers are expecting better products to help crops reach full yield potential.

Disease control is one area in which companies learn more each season. "Disease control has become a very key part of pushing yields closer to full yield potential," said Tim Bearnes, Bayer CropScience technical sales consultant in northeast Nebraska. "I think growers still have a learning curve, and the industry is on a learning curve, too."

When a company introduces a new product that retains part of the name of the original product, it is a tricky situation for building on past success while suggesting the new product has major superiority. Bayer CropScience has introduced Stratego YLD, which builds on the success of the original Stratego; 2011 will be the first full year of Stratego YLD registration.

Trials by the Wilbur Ellis operation at York, Neb., proved the curative and preventative aspects of disease control to Jason Perdue, location agronomist. He said Stratego YLD has an increase in its active ingredient activity. "I think on the curative side of things, going to the prothioconazole is a superior product to the propiconazole. Also with Stratego YLD, there is increased activity on the preventative side with the amount of trifloxystrobin included," he said.

"We really promote VT to R1 applications based on scouting for customers," Perdue said. He explained that comparisons between treated and untreated checks are commonly used and differences in fields are pointed out to growers before harvest by using aerial photography, kernel counts and stalk pinch tests to show how much stalk damage has occurred that will affect standability.

Perdue sees Stratego YLD having a strong fit with V5-stage corn application. "The prothioconazole in the Stratego YLD is one of the top two products for help in controlling anthracnose, which is really what we are gearing an application against with a V5 application. It is a better fit for the disease that we are seeing at that growth stage," he said.

Bearnes said, "What really worked well from what I have seen is a combination of Stratego YLD, Laudis and glyphosate all in one application at the V4 to V6 stage. It is a real value-added application. The grower is getting multiple modes of action for weed control and the fungicide for disease control, too."

In Bearnes' region, 2010 trials averaged a nine bushel per acre advantage for a V5 application against untreated checks.

The R1 tasseled corn application had an almost 15 bushels per acre advantage. The soybean yield advantage was about five bushels per acre. Nationally, for 2008 and 2009 trials, Bayer CropScience reports an advantage over untreated acres of 13.9 bushels per acre at R1 for corn and three bushels per acre in soybeans.

"With our one soybean trial, we didn't see a real big visual difference," Perdue said, "but we did have a very nice yield increase of nearly six bushels. We couldn't really pinpoint one disease to blame it on; therefore, it had to be from multiple factors of overall plant health and vigor."

"With the new Stratego YLD, we have a newer active ingredient chemistry combination that allows a lower use rate and water-based SC (soluble concentrate) formulation for simple mixing and compatibility with other products, plus easier chemigation use," explained Bearnes.

The York Wilbur Ellis location only does aerial application, and the low application rate of four to five ounces per acre of Stratego YLD in two gallons of water is appreciated, mainly from a lower inventory requirement.

For more information about Stratego YLD, Bearnes can be reached at

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