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When fungicides fit for hail-damaged corn

Gil Gullickson 07/18/2011 @ 8:44am Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

Wondering what to do about hail-damaged corn?
 
BASF’s Headline products could help it recover and protect it, says Nick Fassler, BASF technical market manager for fungicides.

BASF obtained a supplemental label for Headline from federal regulators in 2009 that includes benefits other than fungal disease control, including better tolerance to hail.

Yield responses on hail-damaged corn from Headline can coincide with 12 to 16 bushel per acre responses that BASF says it consistently sees from Headline applications on corn, says Fassler. However, responses hinge upon yield potential and the severity of plant damage. Headline won’t help corn with heavily stripped leaves. It is beneficial, though, to less damaged plants. It can protect those new leaves forming below the tassel that contribute to yield during grain fill, says Fassler.

Disease control remains a major benefit of Headline, he adds. However, Headline has plant physiological benefits, such as ethylene reduction. “Upon injury or even under dry conditions, plants produce ethylene as a response hormone,” he says. “It is basically telling plants they are experiencing stress and need to hurry up and ripen or in the case of soybeans, lose leaves.”

F500—the active ingredient in Headline—suppresses ethylene production, says Fassler. This enables plants to stay green longer and have longer grain fill, he adds.

Headline’s disease control attributes protects palnts against diseases like gray leaf spot, common rust, and northern corn leaf blight for at least 21 days. The optimum application time for Headline is from VT (full tassel)  through R2 (blister) stages  “Applications at this time will help carry you through grain fill,” says Fassler.

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