A multi-year (2014 – 2016) study at the BASF Midwest Research Farm in Seymour, IL, looked at 54 various corn hybrids and their response to treatment with Headline AMP® fungicide from BASF. BASF Technical Marketing Manager, Paula Halabicki, walked us through some of the key findings, which include:
- On average, 97% of corn hybrids had a positive yield response to Headline AMP fungicide.
- There was an average 13.1 bu/A yield increase in corn acres treated with Headline AMP fungicide.
- In a heavy disease pressure year like 2015, Headline AMP fungicide use increased yields by 17.1 bu/A.
- Even in a low disease pressure year like 2014, Headline AMP fungicide improved yields by an average of 11.5 bu/A over the wide variety of corn hybrids. This is due to the BASF Plant Health benefits the product offers above and beyond disease control.
“Obviously, something in addition to disease control is going on within these plants,” explains Halabicki. “In 2014, northern corn leaf blight pressure was under 5 percent and gray leaf spot pressure was about 6 percent. In 2016, gray leaf spot pressure was less than 15 percent. But in both of those years we still saw an average of 11.1 bu/A yield increase.*”
So what’s happening? Headline AMP fungicide provides key BASF Plant Health benefits including disease control, stress tolerance and growth efficiency, which work together to help corn plants optimize production.
One example Halabicki points out occurred in the 2016 growing season. “Environmental conditions were fantastic, precipitation was at average levels, temperatures weren’t too hot during the day - which can shut down the plant’s photosynthesis - or at night - which raises respiratory rate,” she explains. “But at harvest time yields weren’t what growers expected. We found that during grain fill there was a lot of cloudy weather. That means there was significantly less solar radiation during grain fill, so plants not treated with Headline AMP fungicide didn’t produce the amount of grain anticipated. However, plants that were treated with Headline AMP optimized photosynthesis even during cloudy conditions and produced more grain.”
These visuals show how Headline AMP fungicide helps corn plants optimize photosynthesis and grow more efficiently and productively.
In the visual above, note how much greener the Headline AMP treated area is (on the right) versus the untreated plants that are beginning to senesce. This is also apparent in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) image below, where the greener areas represent higher NDVI values indicating more biomass in the canopy and more chlorophyll in that biomass. In other words, greater Plant Health and optimal photosynthesis is taking place among plants treated with Headline AMP fungicide versus those not treated.
Ag retailers, agronomists and consultants play a key role in helping growers understand the many factors that affect the growth and productivity of a corn plant. “Fungicides play a key role in the strong development of the plant,” says Halabicki. “Now we have more sophisticated ways of looking at environmental conditions, such as evaluating the availability of solar radiation. By understanding the effect of these factors on the crop, ag retailers can help growers make the most informed, strategic decisions on helping the crop be as productive as possible.”
Always read and follow label directions
*Results may vary
Headline AMP is a registered trademark of BASF.