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Fungicides Can Protect Corn Health, Even in Drought

March 6, 2013
By: Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor

Conventional thinking would lead you to believe that fungicide use in corn during a severe drought makes little to no sense. Some plant health experts say otherwise.

"Even as adverse as conditions were in many parts of the country last summer, if the corn pollinated, we found that fungicide use still protected the crop and improved yields," says Randy Myers, Bayer CropScience fungicide product manager.

Likewise, Myers says it’s important for farmers to realize that fungicides aren’t able to save corn plants on the brink of death. Instead, they can prevent and control diseases and improve corn plant health.

"Fungicides, physiologically, impact the health of corn plants and contribute to higher photosynthetic rates," he says. "They also help corn plants use nitrogen more efficiently and develop stronger cell walls that are less prone to lodging."

Myers says his best advice to corn growers going into the 2013 season: make a proactive plan to use a fungicide as timing is critical.

"A lot of growers come into the process in more of a reactionary mode," he reports. "In the process of buying the product and arranging to have it sprayed plant health suffers and you lose yield potential; the value of the fungicide application is basically muted," he explains. "If you go out in the field and scout and think you need to spray, that means you need to spray now."

Myers shares additional recommendations on fungicide use in the following video, filmed during the 2013 Commodity Classic in Orlando.


For More Information
Read more coverage from the 2013 Commodity Classic and associated events.



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