At the beginning of the season, it’s impossible to know what stresses corn will face. Initial indications point to cold, wet conditions for the 2013 season that might delay planting. Additionally, early disease pressure, as a result of the wet conditions, could be a concern for farmers.

At the beginning of the 2012 season, farmers didn’t know how severe the drought would become. Drought conditions endangered corn long before most farmers were thinking about disease pressure, so those who waited until the traditional fungicide application timing, around the R1 growth stage, missed out on improved water use efficiency and stress management that could have benefited their corn.

"I used Quilt Xcel fungicide in 2012 and have been happy with it. Fungicides are as important as any input I use, even during a dry year. They are always part of my plan. I am trying to keep the plant healthy and keep it going, so fungicides have to be part of the program," said Duff Dimmig, grower from Princeton, Ill.

In 80 geographically diverse trials from 2012, Quilt Xcel applied at the early timing provided an average 10.1 bu/A yield increase over untreated corn. Corn treated with Quilt Xcel also experienced visibly less leaf rolling and was better able to continue with growth and grain fill through drought conditions.

University irrigation studies in recent years have also proven the value of Quilt Xcel in reduced-water environments. In a 2011 irrigation study conducted at Kansas State University, fully irrigated untreated corn produced the same yield (214 bu/A) as corn that only received 60 percent irrigation but was treated with Quilt Xcel at the early V4-V8 timing and again at R1.

“Early (V4-V8) Quilt Xcel applications are about establishing a solid foundation for the corn plant, so it can reach its full genetic yield potential,” said Dr. Eric Tedford, technical product lead, fungicides, Syngenta. “Plant stress comes in different forms, but every season brings stresses on the plant. Farmers who recognize this and apply Quilt Xcel early to help corn tolerate these stresses are the ones who receive the yield payoff at harvest time.”

Quilt Xcel applied early provides other benefits like delayed disease progression; corn that stays green longer, allowing longer periods of photosynthesis for more plant growth and extended time for grain fill; and stronger stalks that result in less lodging for a more efficient harvest with less potential for volunteer corn the following season.

Additionally, applying Quilt Xcel during the V4-V8 growth stages allows for ground application and can be tankmixed with Halex GT herbicide or other approved herbicides or insecticides for one convenient pass across the field.