Start the Season Off Right With an Early Fungicide Application

Published on: 09:57AM Apr 19, 2011

Eric Tedford

Getting a flu shot during the winter or taking Vitamin C to prevent a cold are pretty typical measures to take when hoping to avoid an illness. With that in mind, wouldn’t you want to take the same preventive measures to protect your developing corn plants from yield-robbing diseases?

Research has shown that applying a strobilurin fungicide containing azoxystrobin at the early vegetative growth stages can offer corn greater opportunities for success by positioning it for maximum yield through preventive disease control, better stress response and increased physiological benefits.
What makes an early fungicide application so important?
The early vegetative growth stages of the corn plant encompass the time when all leaves and ear shoots the plant will eventually produce are being formed. Near the V5 growth stage, initiation of leaves and ear shoots will be completed, which ultimately determine the plant’s potential yield. Because this stage is not only important to the growth and development of the plant but also to the final yield, it is critical to offer the developing plants the greatest opportunities for success.
During these early vegetative growth stages, corn plants are vulnerable to various environmental stresses such as drought or severe weather, which can reduce yield. However, applying a fungicide early can reduce stress from disease and improve crop response to stress while ensuring developing corn plants receive the protection they need. And like a flu shot, good coverage prior to the onset of disease will enhance disease control and will prevent the pathogen from spreading and causing infections.
What diseases are you most worried about this season?

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.