Despite the weather odds stacked against them, growers who applied the right fungicides to their corn and soybean acres this season experienced superior plant health and yields in 2013.

A wet spring created a difficult start to the growing season for growers in 2013. Increased disease pressures and crop stress due to extreme weather pattern shifts—including rare diseases—spread in many new regions, challenging growers.

Diseases including Septoria brown spot and frogeye leaf spot in soybeans, and common rust and Southern rust in corn, spread to new regions throughout the U.S.

“The substantial amount of wet weather early in the season also caused more disease, leading to late-season foliar diseases like rust and Northern corn leaf blight in many areas,” said Caren Schmidt, Ph.D., technical market manager, BASF.

BASF claims corn and soybean growers found that timely applications of its Priaxorfungicide and Headline AMP fungicide provided plant health benefits to their crops, including disease control, growth efficiency and stress tolerance.

Controlling disease allows for greater growth efficiency, including better utilization of nitrogen fertilizer and more efficient plant photosynthesis, said Schmidt.

“Soybeans and other crops can become stressed in wet weather situations,” said Brianne Reeves, Ph.D., technical marketing specialist, BASF. “Stressed plants have less energy to use in the reproductive stages and, as a result, both photosynthesis and growth efficiency are negatively impacted.”

However, with fungicide, growers can decrease the effects of disease pressure and crop stress and harvest the most out of every acre.

A sequential fungicide program is a key part of many high-yield, total-management programs in corn. BASF recommends sequential fungicide applications for growers managing no-till, corn-on-corn and/or continuous corn acres to minimize the stress caused by more extreme disease pressures. A sequential fungicide program suppresses troublesome corn diseases, including anthracnose, gray leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight and common rust.

In planning for the next growing season, growers can continue to take control of their fields by proactively and preventatively applying fungicides.

Applying the right fungicide on soybeans or corn is the best way to ensure a successful growing season, BASF claims, such as an increase in yield potential and combating any potential disease issues. Reeves said, “Greater disease control helps lead to increased plant health, higher yields, more efficient harvests and greater profits.”