Does Your Fungicide Provide Disease Control and More?

Published on: 14:23PM Aug 16, 2011

Eric Tedford

Soybean is a fairly hardy plant that can withstand mildly adverse conditions, but when every bushel makes a difference, even slight pest pressures can impact your bottom line. Disease pressure is one of the most troublesome and underrated, yield-limiting factors to consider when planning for the next season. But the symptoms, spread and impact of soybean diseases can be broad and varied. 

The ability of foliar diseases to harm crops throughout the entire season reminds us that one of the most reliable ways to control disease is to apply a broad-spectrum fungicide preventively. A fungicide containing the active ingredient azoxystrobin controls fungal pathogens from all four classes of fungi. However, by applying a broad-spectrum strobilurin fungicide, you are doing more than just controlling foliar diseases, such as aerial blight, alternaria leaf spot and frogeye leaf spot; you are enhancing the plant’s physiological benefits as well. Physiological benefits result from the plant’s response to the fungicide that improve plant growth processes and reduce the impact of environmental stress.
Plants need the right combination and balance of a multitude of influencers—nutrients, sunlight, water—to thrive. In addition to disease control, a strobilurin fungicide can provide three key benefits to maximize the genetic potential of soybean: improved plant growth, increased water use efficiency and extended pod fill.     
Improved plant growth is achieved by increased carbon dioxide absorption that allows plants to use the sun’s energy more efficiently. It is also the result of a better utilization of nitrogen, which allows plants to produce proteins that are essential for plant growth and development. This, in turn, creates higher yields.
Increased water use efficiency is gained by the conservation of soil moisture and results in more crop growth. This can be especially helpful to late-planted soybean throughout these hot, dry summer months.
Extended pod fill is the final step in optimizing yields. This is established through preserved green leaf area that provides longer photosynthesis and slows plant aging to maximize growth and yield development.
In addition to disease control, a fungicide containing azoxystrobin works to improve plant growth and development, therefore increasing yields and crop quality. By using a fungicide, you take the critical step of treating diseases in your fields with the added bonus of maximizing the crops’ potential.

Eric Tedford, Fungicide Technical Brand Manager for Syngenta, provides technical leadership for the development of fungicides. His experience includes fungicide research and development for field crops, development of postharvest fungicides, and global technical development of fungicides. He holds bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in plant pathology from the University of Massachusetts, Clemson University, and the University of California (Davis), respectively.