Weather conditions this season have presented Indiana farmers with potentially tricky decisions for fungicide applications. Many farmers have significant acres with limited stands, so do they shut down investment on those acres or try to protect what is there? Andrew Ferrel is an Indiana commercial agronomist with Mycogen Seeds who says there will probably be situations where you need to make the fungicide investment.
“The stand that is there, those plants that are present are going to be more valuable towards yield than what they were,” he told HAT. “So I don’t think that every field a fungicide application is going to be necessary, but I think there’s going to be some situations where we’ve got to protect that yield. You’ve got to kind of bite your lip and make the application because if you’ve got a susceptible hybrid present in the field, the disease pressure gets high, I think that need might be there. Those plants are valuable.”
He added scouting is very important this year, especially where stands are thin. The knowledge you gain is valuable even on fields you elect not to control.
“The best control is preventative control,” Ferrel says. “As an example, if you’re seeing southern rust pop up in the field, you want to be timely with an application and get ahead of it because fungicides are best used as a preventative rather than a curative. So just being out and present and looking at what’s going on, very important, because otherwise if you just wait until the combine rolls the field, you’ve lost yield. You don’t know why. You start blaming the wrong things. You start changing your management practices from year to year because you’ve got maybe a skewed opinion or misinterpreted why you lost yield.”
Dow AgroSciences received Chinese approval of its Enlist corn about a month ago and Mycogen Seeds will be the first to sell the new product this fall for the 2018 season.
“We’re excited to be able to offer a better form of weed control. Especially the last few years we’ve seen a lot of weed escapes due to the weather or spring residuals not being able to clean up fields the way we want. So, just being able to have another tool in the toolbox and we’re excited too with the genetics that we’ll be able to offer.”
He said they’ve been sitting on some newer hybrids stacked with the Enlist trait, and now they’ll finally be able to share those with farmers.