Why a Soybean Fungicide Matters

Jul 20, 2020

Why a Soybean Fungicide Matters
Between the spaced out planting schedules, to the access water and now to the hot and humid days, it is definitely hard to predict how the yields are going to turn out. One thing is for sure though, this year is a perfect one to try some acres of fungicide, if you have not done so in the past.

We have all three of the THINGS needed for diseases: a host, a pathogen and an environment. This wet, warm and humid weather is the perfect environment for diseases to live and feed off our corn and soybean plants. A fungicide, like Delaro, could be a saving grace for many of our acres this year.

Before you apply a fungicide on your soybeans, there are three standard keys to consider:
  1. Know the susceptibility of the soybean varieties you planted.
    • The R7 Tool is a wonderful place to start when it comes to knowing the susceptibility of your varieties. Within the tool is the Top 10 Tool and the CHT charts which can help you understand more about what you have in the ground. By checking out the susceptibility ratings, you will have a better understanding of what diseases you may be more prone to having and which ones you have a better protection against.
  2. Know the crop history of the field.
    • Many pathogens in our area live in soybean stubble, which causes no-till or double crop systems to be more susceptible than others. With the weather we are having this year, it is hard to say which diseases will be more prevalent than others, but we know that if we have had a disease before we can get it again much easier. While talking to Jon Zuk, Winfield United Agronomist, he said that the three leaf diseases that we should be looking out for this year are Frogeye Leaf Spot, Downy Mildew, and Septoria.
  3. Wet soybean leaves produce a favorable environment for fungal pathogens to develop and for disease to occur.
    • In soybeans, diseases spread by the plants rubbing their leaves together. This is called the inoculation stage of the disease. The disease will reach the second stage of its life cycle when penetration occurs. This happens after the pathogen has reached its host and entered a wound site or a natural plant opening. After this happens, infection can occur, and a disease has now started to take over and thrive off that plant.
    • In wet, humid environments, it is easier for a pathogen to infect a plant through the plants’ natural plant openings, like stomata. Entry through stomata will then stop the leaf from carrying out its normal functions and decrease the plants ability to carry out photosynthesis, causing the different disease symptoms on the leaf surfaces. A good example of this would be Frog Eye Leaf Spot.
In 2019, Bayer released a map of where the heaviest disease pressure of White Mold is predicted to be. Even though White Mold cannot be controlled by a fungicide, knowing where diseases are suspected to hit and knowing your crop rotation can surely help to know whether you want/need to apply a fungicide to protect your yields.

So, you know you need a fungicide now, but what does a fungicide actually do?

When a plant is stressed, it produces the hormone ethylene. Ethylene is known to help the plant in its reproductive development. When it is produced in greater amounts due to stress it can lead to premature pod drop. By inhibiting ethylene production with a fungicide during these times, plants hold their leaves and allow soybeans to stay greener longer. When the plant stays healthier longer it allows the plant to photosynthesize for an extended period of time. A fungicide will also help soybeans to become more efficient in the photosynthesis process. This helps to fill the pods and protect the yield potential that is out there.

Good yields are still available during a spread out planting year, we just need perfect conditions to get there. By applying a fungicide, you are helping to create the perfect conditions and allow for more flexibility for perfection in less favorable environments.

Talk to your agronomist today to see how a fungicide can help you! Fill out the form below to get more information!


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