As a result of delayed planting or planting into wet soils this season, Syngenta recommends growers have their foliar fungicide use plan in place.
“Delayed planting or planting into wet soils puts plants under stress, and distressed plants are less equipped to defend themselves from disease and environmental conditions that impact growth and yield,” said Eric Tedford, Ph.D., technical brand manager, Syngenta. “Additionally, too much water can flush vital nutrients, such as nitrogen, from the soil. In saturated soils, oxygen is also less available, which can inhibit seed germination or delay plant development.”
Root depth is also often dependent on the soil moisture level during the early development stages. Drier conditions force plants to develop deep root systems in order to access water well below the surface, but in wet soil, plants develop shallow root systems because water is readily available near the surface. “As soil dries out during the hot summer months, crops planted in wet soil will be ill-equipped to handle the change in conditions,” said Tedford. “In the event of dry conditions later in the season, shallow roots will be unable to access moisture deep in the soil.”
Late planting has also put plants at an increased risk of disease infections. Diseases are more likely to develop in the warm and humid summer days, and with corn and soybean in the vegetative growth stages during this high-risk time, preparation is vital to protecting yield. “When planting later than usual, the plants will be less mature during the peak disease period, making them more vulnerable to infection,” said Tedford. “Diseases have the potential to significantly impact yield, especially when the plant is already weakened due to stress. Northern corn leaf blight, for example, can reduce yield up to 50 percent if established before corn silking. Combine the threat of disease with the longer duration of time the crops are growing and a foliar fungicide is vital to protect your investment.”
Foliar fungicides help mitigate the vulnerability of young, stressed plants and decrease the risk of disease. “In addition to providing broad-spectrum disease control, which will be critical due to late-planting, Quadris® and Quilt Xcel® fungicides can provide key physiological benefits that reduce transpiration and water loss, allowing a developing corn plant to use water more efficiently under dry conditions,” said Tedford.
Quilt Xcel and Quadris fungicide should be applied preventively to soybean and corn to protect against disease infection. Applications may also be made in the early vegetative growth stages in corn and can offer a time saving advantage as these products tank mix with several Syngenta corn herbicides. Growers may consult their local Syngenta sales representative or retailers for specific use instructions.