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Sponsored: Do Fungicide Carrier Rates Carry Yield?

When it’s time to spray fungicide, farmers might wonder, “how much carrier volume do I use to get the most out of my fungicide?” In times of low commodity prices, it’s important to find the right answers. Even things as small as using the correct carrier rate can greatly impact your bottom line. In 2017, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team dug a little further into this question and evaluated different fungicide water carrier rates to determine their impacts on yield and profitability across four PFR locations.

When controlling diseases with a fungicide application, Beck’s agronomists note that the top half of the canopy is most concerning, particularly the ear leaf. It’s responsible for over 75 percent of the carbohydrates during grain fill, so increasing leaf coverage when applying fungicide is a vital part of disease control. However, it’s important to understand the two types of fungicides available for corn and soybean production in order to maximize the type of coverage needed. Strobilurin and SDHI fungicides, which provide preventative control, are locally systemic and have limited movement to a small area surrounding the site of control. Fungicides with curative properties, like triazoles, are translaminar and can move from one side of the leaf to the other, but not into it.

The PFR team tested Trivapro®, which contains strobilurin, triazole and SDHI, at carrier rates of 10, 15 and 20 gal./A. Applied at the R1 growth stage in corn, these rates were compared to a control where no fungicide was applied. Through this testing, Beck’s PFR found that skimping on water when utilizing fungicide could actually cost you in the long run compared to running higher volumes. They found that water volumes of 15 and 20 gal./A. provided average yield gains of over 6 Bu./A. and a positive return on investment (ROI). A volume of 10 gal./A. did not yield high enough to achieve a positive ROI.

6.1.18 Fungicide Carrier 1

A higher carrier volume can provide better coverage of the fungicide, which protects more leaf area from disease and premature senescence. This may have played a role in the yield responses by limiting disease progression and maximizing the remobilization of stored nutrients from leaves into grain.

Although more leaf area can be protected with greater coverage, if disease is not present, the increase in fungicide carrier rates will not have an advantage. This was evident in 2017 at the Ohio PFR site, where minimal disease pressure was observed throughout the season and, as expected, it impacted the results. Ohio was the only PFR site in 2017 that saw little to no increase in yield and profitably. In theory, the advantage of a higher carrier rate is more evident in years with high disease pressure.

6.1.18 Fungicide Carrier 2

While changing the carrier volume of your fungicide is just one simple management adjustment, it can still make an impact on your product performance and return on investment. For more information or to see regional results of these studies, click the links below.

Beck’s PFR is the largest source of unbiased, cutting-edge agronomic information in the industry. More than 500 studies were conducted in 2017, comparing over 150 products across multiple locations to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. In evaluating agronomic practices and input products, not comparing seed products, Beck’s PFR aims to help farmers maximize their input dollars and increase their bottom line. To view more PFR studies click here.

Practical Farm Research (PFR)® and PFR Proven™ are trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids, Inc. PFR Proven™ was developed in 2016 to identify the products and practices that are likely to be most profitable. If a product has been tested in PFR and found to provide yield gains and averages a positive ROI over a minimum of three years, then that product will earn the status of PFR Proven and should be something to consider trying on your farm. If a practice has been tested in PFR and found to be the most profitable, then it will also receive the status of PFR Proven. Please consult with your local Beck’s representative or trusted advisor for best management practices in your area. Trivapro® is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.

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