Fungicides Unlikely To Benefit Lodged Corn

Reduced yield potential and disease uncertainty make a fungicide investment in downed corn a risky proposition, university specialists from Iowa and Wisconsin say.

No-tillers considering a fungicide as a rescue application on lodged corn should save their money, according to university specialists.

“It’s a high-risk decision without much chance for a pay-off,” says Iowa State University plant pathologist Alison Robertson. “It really doesn’t make much sense regardless of the stage of growth. The chances a fungicide application breaking even is reduced in fields that have reduced yield potential.

“If you use fungicides, you should target fields with high yield potential. Do you really want to throw another $25 to $35 per acre at a crop that’s been damaged when you don’t really know that it will be beneficial?”

University of Wisconsin corn specialist Joe Lauer agrees.

“I don’t see any rescue value in applying a fungicide to lodged corn,” he says. “Whether or not a product like Headline will have any effect is very hard to predict. Generally, we don’t recommend a fungicide for hybrids with good disease resistance. A fungicide may be warranted on susceptible hybrids if disease is present but I don’t see any particular value for lodged corn.”

Downed corn in Nebraska after windstormNo-tillers considering a fungicide as a rescue application on lodged corn should save their money, according to university specialists. (Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska)

Robertson and Lauer both point out that diseases encouraged by wounding — like plant damage caused by wind or hail — are primarily bacterial…

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Mark Parker

Contributing Editor

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