Fungicides increase photosynthesis, yield potential

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BASF announced new research showcasing the plant health benefits of fungicides containing the most important fungicide component in its portfolio of products. The research, which was conducted by BASF in the field and in greenhouse settings, shows that BASF fungicides increase net photosynthesis in corn and soybean plants, which increases energy production, leading to increased yield potential. There was no announced comparison to competitive products on the market.

“Photosynthesis is the driving engine for energy production in plants,” said Jennifer Holland, Ph.D., technical market specialist, BASF. “An increase in net photosynthesis means the plant has the ability to create more energy for use in the reproductive stages, which can lead to higher yield potential.”

The BASF plant health portfolio is built on the foundation of Headline fungicide, which contains F500. Headline fungicide was the first fungicide on the market that was promoted for disease control and plant health in the BASF marketing strategy. BASF says it continues to pave the way for the latest fungicide innovations from BASF.

There are three pillars of plant health, which outline the benefits of F500: disease control, growth efficiency and stress tolerance.

Many growers understand and believe in the importance of fungicide use for disease control, Holland explained. The growth efficiency benefit allows plants to better utilize nitrogen fertilizer and conduct photosynthesis more effectively. Specific fungicides can also help a plant increase its tolerance to stressful conditions, including drought and extreme temperatures. Stress weakens a plant and lowers photosynthesis, leading to a decrease in yield potential as proven with corn. When combined, the outcome amounts to healthier plants, higher seed quality, stronger stalks and ultimately increased yield potential.

Recent BASF research shows added plant health benefits of fungicides at the plant physiology level results in higher yield potential and increased profitability. In 2012, BASF conducted a greenhouse study on the plant health benefits of fungicides in varying water conditions. Using a similar methodology to the in-field trials, BASF measured net photosynthesis of plants under water-stressed conditions, as well as plants under normal water conditions. Both conditions compared the net photosynthesis of plants treated with a fungicide as well as untreated plants.

The results were compelling. In the study, conducted under water-stressed conditions, plants treated with a fungicide were nearly 30 percent more efficient at net photosynthesis than the untreated plants. The fungicide-treated plants were able to handle stress better than untreated plants, which can lead to higher yield potential.

In a 2011 in-field study conducted in Illinois, corn plants treated with a BASF fungicide were more effective at net leaf photosynthesis compared to untreated plants. These trials show an increase in net photosynthesis of corn plants treated with a fungicide compared to untreated plants.

“The research trials indicate fungicides containing F500 helped water-stressed plants buffer against environmental stresses,” Holland said. BASF claims to have conducted more fungicide research than any other company and learn the most, too.


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