What they're saying about fungicides for corn and soybeans
Fungicides used to be backbenchers when it came to corn and soybeans. No more. Companies that market strobilurin fungicides are touting not only disease control benefits, but physiological ones as well. BASF and Syngenta, which market strobilurin fungicides, discussed advantages of their products during the Commodity Classic in Tampa, Florida.
BASF includes its fungicide Headline under its application under its Plant Health umbrella. In over 1,000 on-farm trials in 2006, average yield increases of 12 to 15 bushels per acre occurred in corn, says Andy Lee, director, U.S. crop business operations for BASF. Meanwhile, Lee says 750 on-farm trials in 2006 revealed average yield increases between 4 to 8 bushels per acre in soybeans.
In corn, Lee says responses will vary depending on factors like hybrids and application procedure. "Perhaps the biggest issue is about application," says Lee. "It's important to get the coverage right, and use the proper adjuvant. Timing is also key."
Higher commodity prices have increased the odds of a payoff for fungicide use. Lee says. Assuming an application-product-adjuvant cost of $18 per acre, return on investment can tally between $33 and $46 per acre on corn, says Lee. This assumes a corn price of $4.24 per bushel.
In soybeans, an average yield increase of 4 to 8 bushels per acre could result in an increase in profits per acre between $24 and $47. That assumes soybeans are priced at $8.11, with product-application-adjuvant costs remaining at $18 per acre."
In soybeans, yield response can differ depending on the region. In the south, yield responses ranged between 6 to 10 bushels per acre. Typical yield responses in Illinois and Indiana ranged between 3.5 and 4.5 bushels per acre. In northern regions like the Dakotas and Minnesota, yield increases of 2.5 to 3 bushels per acre typically occurred, says Lee.
Although disease can occur in northern regions, disease pressure is less than in the south, says Lee. "If you have a good variety with a good disease package in the north, and you haven't seen a benefit on a field, save it for another field that will benefit," says Lee. "There are some geographies where it doesn't make sense."
Jamie Eichorn, fungicide brand manager, corn and soybeans, for Syngenta Crop Protection, discussed the use of Syngenta's strobilurin fungicides. Quadris on soybeans gives broad spectrum foliar disease control in addition to positive physiological effects. In soybeans, Quadris boosted yields by an average of 5.5 bushels per acre in 2006 trials.
He notes there's also been a benefit to using Quilt fungicide on corn, particularly in areas where gray leaf spot is prevalent. "Quilt provides preventative and curative control of gray leaf spot," he says.
At 180 data points in 2006, Quilt boosted corn yields by an average of 15.5 bushels per acre. Data points included areas of the central Corn Belt such as Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio.
Eichorn noted that disease presence influences yield responses. For example, average yield responses of soybeans in the south hovered around 6.5 bushels per acre where diseases like frogeye leafspot were more prevalent when compared to an untreated check.