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If I had a crystal ball, I could tell you how heavy disease pressure will be in 2020. But since I can’t see into the future, my best advice is to use data and your trusted advisors to determine the best course of action to protect plant health.
You already have access to data that can help you determine whether return on investment potential with a fungicide application is more likely. First, l recommend looking at your seed guide. Most companies rate hybrids and varieties for their tolerance to specific diseases. Seed choices with lower tolerance to diseases are good candidates for fungicide protection.
While the seed guide is a good place to start, Answer Plot® data from WinField United provides more in-season results. Each year, we test more than 200 varieties across seed brands to determine response-to-fungicide (RTF) scores. Unlike most seed guides, which base disease ratings on visual observations, actual yield results from Answer Plot data are used to calculate the potential yield response of a fungicide application by hybrid. The trials are replicated multiple times at each of the Answer Plot locations to account for different growing conditions and geographies.
Fungicide yield response ranged from 5.6 to 40.4 bushels per acre in 2019, which reinforces different hybrid responses to fungicide application. In addition, data from 2019 Answer Plot trials showed a fungicide yield response averaging 16.1 bushels per acre across tested hybrids when MasterLock® adjuvant was included in the tank mix.
Once you understand where you’re likely to see the best response to fungicide, it’s time to survey fields. Scout early and often, especially if environmental conditions favor disease development. In general, you’ll see the best return on investment when applying a fungicide at tassel time. But if disease starts early and is progressing quickly, a V5 application can help protect plants until tasseling.
Get the most value from your fungicide treatment by adding an adjuvant like MasterLock to the tank mix. Effective crop protection depends on good coverage. It’s not about the ounces of product per acre that you spray — what’s important is that the active ingredient is actually reaching the plant. MasterLock optimizes droplet size to reduce drift potential and help ensure more product penetrates into the canopy. It contains a surfactant to help cover more leaf surface area.
Answer Plot data shows a 5.7-bushel-per-acre average yield increase in corn when MasterLock is added to the spray tank along with a fungicide, compared to using a fungicide alone.1
Your local WinField United retailer can help recommend the right fungicide and partner products based on your hybrids and field conditions. WinField United is also hosting virtual clinics this summer, where you can learn more about RTF scores and best practices for fungicide applications. Speak with your retailer to learn more.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2018 and was last updated in June 2020.
1. WinField United. 14 studies, 8 states, all fungicides. 2012–2017.
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.
Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices, and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results.
© 2020 WinField United. Answer Plot®, MasterLock® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.
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