According to the USDA as of June 23, 85% of the nation’s soybeans are planted but only 71% of the country’s soybeans were emerged.
While the disease triangle—host, pathogen, environment—has not changed, this year’s late planting and weather is already weighing on the minds of retailers, consultants and farmers to be on the lookout for disease.
“What we are seeing this year with the late planting is a soybean crop that at just the wrong growth stages could be exposed to the highest spore count of fungi they ever will, and this is particularly true with our cool, moist conditions,” explains Eric Tedford, fungicide technical product lead at Syngenta.
Tedford says it will be a challenging year for soybean disease, noting high counts for Pythium and Phytophthora, and university Extension agents have already confirmed Frogeye Leaf Spot.
“We’re seeing more issues sooner than we normally do,” he says. “The good news is that we have good fungicides to help control the diseases.”
Tedford says Syngenta is ready to serve the market with adequate supplies in light of whatever disease pressures result in 2019. Although it received EPA registration last year, this will be the first crop season with approved application of Miravis Neo, which has three active ingredients—two preventative fungicides, one curative fungicide.
Tedford says it’s a unique fungicide on the market because it also provides plant health benefits.
“We can provide excellent control of diseases, and you always get a better yield benefit when you are controlling a disease. But even when we put on a fungicide and the disease doesn’t come in, it’s not a wasted bullet,” he says.
Although crops have been planted late and emergence is not ideal, Tedford is encouraging retailers and farmers to keep fighting for bushels.
“In my opinion, there’s no better reason to be investing in this crop we have and preserve all the yield you are going to get,” he says.