Planning for the 2019 crop production season is underway in most areas. Dr. Josh Miller, BASF Technical Marketing Manager, says taking a proactive approach with BASF Plant Health products can help your growers capture more of the growing season and optimize yield potential.
Proactive use of foliar fungicides such as Priaxor® fungicide and Headline AMP® fungicide provides significant BASF Plant Health benefits, Miller points out. In addition to providing best-in-class disease control, these products also mitigate stresses from the environment, leading to optimized growth efficiency.
“We have demonstrated in numerous field and greenhouse trials that Headline AMP and Priaxor fungicides reduce ethylene production and reduce oxidative stress,” he reports. “That way, these healthier plants can focus on yield production – they grow more efficiently, and have much improved photosynthetic rates.”
One way to visualize BASF Plant Health in action is by using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). This helps show how healthy a crop is by evaluating both the biomass of the crop and the amount of chlorophyll in the crop. Essentially, you get a visual representation of how big of a “factory” you have in the field and how efficient your “factory“ is running. A higher NDVI means the crop “factory” is operating more efficiently.
“You can go over the top of these fields and see the vegetative index is higher in Headline AMP and Priaxor treated areas,” says Miller. “There’s more biomass and more chlorophyll in the biomass - the plants are healthier and greener.”
Miller also uses FLIR® thermal imaging technology to demonstrate BASF Plant Health benefits. “In areas treated with Headline AMP or Priaxor fungicides, we have seen that the canopy temperatures are lower. When the plant is under stress, ethylene production goes up and the plant closes its stomata to reduce water loss, essentially shutting down the plants’ “sweating” mechanism. That not only increases the temperature in those plants, but also prevents gas exchange at those sites that drives photosynthesis. BASF Plant Health products reduce ethylene production, allowing the stomata to function normally. We can see this visually through the thermal imaging, but the important story for the grower is that the cooler plant indicates that photosynthesis is not being inhibited by the closed stomata. Instead, the plants treated with BASF Plant Health products are able to focus on growing more efficiently and putting grain in your bins.”
To learn more about the benefits of BASF’s Plant Health products, visit https://agriculture.basf.com/us/en/Crop-Protection.html, or talk to your local BASF representative.
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