Despite a cold, wet spring and poor planting conditions, the nation’s corn and soybean crops are catching up quickly. According to the USDA’s most recent Crop Progress report, 77% of the country’s corn crop is in excellent condition – compared to 67% of the crop one year ago.
According to Mitch Blair, Product Manager with BASF, growers have a lot of potential bushels of corn and soybeans they can be harvesting in the fall. “The soybean yield record is 171 bushels and the corn yield record is more than 500 bushels per acre, but yet the national average is around 45 or 50 bushels of soybeans and approximately 180 bushels of corn per acre,” he explains. “That tells us that there are a lot of bushels out there that we can help growers get.”
Now is an ideal time to talk with your growers about fungicide use, timing and benefits. The key things to talk with them about in formulating a fungicide management plan are:
- Analyze which acres will respond best to a fungicide application.
Certain corn hybrids and soybean varieties respond better to a fungicide application than others. Look back at your grower’s seed purchase history and at particular areas that have a history of disease challenges.
- Look at the long-term weather forecast.
“The 30-day forecast is critical as you go from June into July, with the plants going from vegetative state to the reproductive state,” says Blair. “Proactive use of a fungicide helps optimize Plant Health during those crucial stages. Healthier plants take up water and assimilate nitrogen more efficiently. If your grower’s plants are struggling with stress during those reproductive stages, they are losing bushels.”
- Discuss the benefits of proactive fungicide applications.
“It takes approximately two weeks for diseases to go from the cellular level to where you’re actually seeing symptoms in the plant,” explains Blair. “While that disease is growing, undetected, in the plant, it’s causing stress and yield loss.”
- Encourage your growers to “invest with intent.”
One way to look at a fungicide plan as a good investment is to encourage growers to “invest with intent,” according to Blair. “By investing with intent, growers increase their output in order to decrease their cost of production per unit. If your grower wants to protect their margins and manage risk, using Headline AMP® fungicide and Priaxor® fungicide, because of the consistent performance in optimizing Plant Health, is one of the best ways they can do that.”
- Know the benefits of the “three-pronged” protection.
“BASF Plant Health fungicides like Headline AMP and Priaxor provide three means of protecting yields: disease control, stress tolerance and growth efficiency. Regardless of disease levels, it prepares the plant for anything Mother Nature can throw at it, whether it’s temperature, drought or other challenges.”
BASF Plant Health fungicides deliver consistent performance – for example, six years of data from BASF has shown that use of Headline AMP and Priaxor delivers a positive yield response more than 92% of the time versus untreated plants. In corn, the average national yield response is more than 12 bu/A, and in soybeans the yield improvement is 4.5 bu/A. *
Always read and follow label directions
Headline AMP and Priaxor are registered trademarks of BASF.
*Results may vary