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Corn Yield Response to Foliar Fungicides Dry Conditions

 

Corn Yield Response to Foliar Fungicides in Dry Conditions

Rationale and Objective

  • The potential for foliar fungicide treatments to be economically beneficial in protecting corn yield under moderate to high foliar disease pressure is well documented.
  • Recent claims have also indicated possible plant health and drought tolerance benefits associated with strobilurin fungicide treatments even in the absence of significant disease pressure.
  • Disease pressure is generally lower under drought conditions, as development and spread of several common foliar diseases is favored by moisture and humidity.
  • The abnormally dry conditions experienced in IA and MO during the 2011 and 2012 growing seasons allowed evaluation of fungicide performance with low disease pressure.

Study Description

Plot Layout:    Field-length strips with strobilurin fungicides applied in strips perpendicular to the rows
 
Locations:    43 locations in IA and MO in 2011-2012
 
Hybrids:    4 per location, 34 total

  • Plots were established  according to standard C-Pro protocol of 4 hybrids planted at 4 populations per location.
  • Yield monitor data from these plots were analyzed in Pioneer FIT Studio® to remove common sources of yield monitor error. Fifty-foot buffer areas were removed from the plots to account for potential drift from fungicide treatments in the checks.

Results

  • The average yield response to foliar fungicides in strip trials conducted in 2011 and 2012 was well below the average response observed in a survey of IA and MO on-farm trials conducted between 2007 and 2010.
  • Yield results indicate that a foliar fungicide treatment is much less likely to be economically beneficial under low disease pressure associated with hot and dry conditions.
  • Previous research has shown that hybrid response to fungicides can vary widely based on genetic disease tolerance and disease pressure. 2011-2012 results showed that hybrid response can vary even when pressure is low.
  • Yield response to foliar fungicide treatment was not affected by plant population.

Chart: Average Corn Yield Response to Foliar Fungicides in On-Farm Trials
 
Chart: Average Yield Response of Four Pioneer Brand Hybrids to Foliar Fungicides in Western Iowa Trials
 
 
Chart: Fungicide-Treated and Non-Treated Corn Yield Response to Plant Populations

Management Suggestions

  • Target fungicide applications based on hybrid genetic disease tolerance and local crop conditions.
  • Consult with your local Pioneer sales professional for guidance on fungicide applications for the hybrids on your farm.
  • When evaluating hybrid performance, don't compare treated vs. untreated hybrids; the variability in hybrid responses could result in misleading information on the value of a hybrid.

2011-2012 data are based on average of all comparisons made in 43 locations through 2012. Multi-year and multi-location is a better predictor of future performance. Do not use these or any other data from a limited number of trials as a significant factor in product selection. Product responses are variable and subject to a variety of environmental, disease, and pest pressures. Individual results may vary. All products are trademarks of their manufacturers.

 

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