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Sponsored: A Bankable Bean Procedure: Foliar Fungicide Applications

For most Midwest farmers, the 2017 planting season has been a major headache with many farms experiencing heavy rains, standing water, and even hail. To succeed in these conditions, farmers must utilize all of their tools and resources to help achieve their highest potential, and ultimately, gain a higher yield.

Though the weather is difficult to predict, the return on investment (ROI) when applying a fungicide is not. Over the last four years, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® has conducted a Foliar Fungicide Study at four of their six sites across the Midwest to evaluate various fungicide applications applied at the R3 growth stage. The goal of this study was to evaluate the different diseases that are present throughout the growing season, and the value of each fungicide product in terms of yield and profitability.

The three-year, multi-location, PFR Proven™* data from this study indicates that, on average, you can double your investment when applying a fungicide to soybeans. These fungicides provide a healthier plant which allows the soybeans to increase seed size, resulting in higher yields.**  


Not only is the practice of applying fungicide to soybeans at the R3 growth stage a PFR Proven practice, but it is backed by superior performance of three fungicide products. In 2016, Beck’s data showed that Triparo®, the new triple mode of action fungicide from Syngenta, provided the highest return at $18.52/A. The three-year data average indicates that Stratego® YLD has the best return overall. No matter which product you choose, the three-year average ROI for all products tested is over $18/A.


What’s important to note is that while foliar disease was minimal during the 2016 growing season, fungicides still payed even in the absence of disease symptomology. This is a result of two things. The first being that fungicides provide soybean plants with additional physiological benefits (aside from disease protection) such as increased stress tolerance, increase water use efficiency, improved CO2 assimilation, and/or delayed plant senescence.  

The second is that the development of soybean diseases requires a susceptible host, the pathogen, and environmental conditions conductive to the establishment of the disease. Some diseases have a latent period where no disease symptoms are present, but the infection has already occurred. This latent period can last for several weeks.

Therefore, it is possible for fungicides to provide a return on investment due to disease suppression when you can’t visibility see the symptoms of the disease.

So what have we learned? That applying a fungicide to your soybeans is a GREAT investment that can help increase your yield potential. But don’t forget, application timing is key. Soybean fungicide applications are best made at the R3 growth stage to provide the highest odds for an economic return.

If you have any questions about this data or the best fungicide applications for your area, please consult your local Beck’s representative.

To see regional data for this study, check out the links below.

Beck’s PFR is the largest source of unbiased, cutting-edge agronomic information in the industry. More than 110 different studies were conducted in 2016, 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 studies from the 2016 PFR book, click here .

*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 practices 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.

**Return on investment calculations for this study do not include application costs.

Practical Farm Research (PFR)® and PFR Proven™ are trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids Inc. Stratego® is a registered trademark of Bayer. Triparo® is a registered trademark of Syngenta.

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