Fungicides Led to Hoosier Corn and Soybean Yield Bumps



soybeans-podding-to-top-of-plantAs 2016 corn and soybean harvest makes its way toward completion, the theme continues to be very good soybean yields vs. disappointing corn yields. HAT caught up with agronomist Bill Mullen in Warren County near Attica, and he said those bean yields were good all across Indiana.

“I’m hearing a lot of people from northern Indiana all the way down to southern Indiana that are pushing 60, 70, 80 bushels to the acre. The beans took the stress and responded really well with a bigger yield than we’ve seen in past years.”

Corn typically has been below expectations and better in the north than southern Indiana.

“There are people who thought they were going to have 200-bushel corn in our good, black ground and are getting 185-190,” Mullen said, “but once we hit that lighter soil corn-ready-for-harvestespecially down south yields are dropping. We’re down there in the 160-165-bushel area. As we come farther north the yields seem to get better up to 200-210 bushels. So really when we start looking north of I70 and keep on going up toward the Michigan border, our yield potential for corn has been getting better.”

Mullen said early planted corn tended to have more crown rot and signs of compaction because of the early wet conditions. He said there was anthracnose leaf blight that resulted in stalk rot, but northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot diseases were not a widespread problem.

He said there are numerous reports from southern Indiana that confirm big benefits to a fungicide application this year, both in soybeans and corn.

“In the absence of disease they still went ahead and put a fungicide on and they compared it to fields that didn’t have any fungicide. What they saw was 20-25 more bushels to the acre in corn, so next year you’ve got to look at your corn and the disease tolerance. Put a plan together and if it looks like you’re going to need a fungicide make sure it will pay for itself.”

Mullen said comparisons show an 8-10 bushel jump in those soybean fields that had the fungicide applied.

“You look at the price and you look at the variety and if it’s a very offensive variety there’s a good chance you’re going to make up that difference plus some by using a fungicide.”

See more in the HAT video with Bill Mullen, Director of Agronomic Services for Seed Consultants.

Indiana Farm Expo