Planting is just the first step in the battle for high yields. As soon as seeds hit the ground, they’re under attack from various predators – namely fungus and disease. Analyze your seed treatments and fungicide options if infestations threaten yields.
“This could be a big year for fungicides,” says Mike Kavanaugh, AgriGold national agronomy manager. “Anytime it’s warm and wet for corn, it’s a good year for fungicide.”
In corn, keep an eye out for Southern rust, common rust, tar spot, physoderma, early crown rots, Northern Corn Leaf Blight and any other disease you know overwinters in your fields and prefers wet conditions.
In soybeans, experts are watching for Pythium, rhizoctonia, phytopthora and sudden death syndrome (SDS) in the early season, and diseases such as frogeye leaf spot and white mold later in the year.
“Check hybrid and variety tolerances, know if certain ones are at greater risks, scout fields and see how it’s going along throughout the season,” says Dana Harder, Burrus agronomist. “Check for disease above the ear shank, consider if you have the ability to dry corn—you might not want to spray if you don’t have drying capacity. But if the infection is bad enough, you’ll see positive return on investment from fungicides.”
Wet weather might make planting more challenging in parts of the country this year but don’t let it steal valuable bushels. Protect each precious kernel with diligent scouting, watching for fungus and diseases to reach threshold and being ready to take action when needed.