Fungicides - Parrish and Heimbecker, Limited

Fight Back with Fungicide

Factors, Strategies and Timing to Protect Your Crops

Fusarium and other diseases can threaten your crops’ health and put your maximum profit potential at risk. With the right insight and understanding, you can fight back and keep the risk under control. Disease development in field crops is dependent on three important factors.

  1. In order for infection to occur, there has to be a viable host (the crop) available for the pathogen.
  2. The disease pathogen has to be brought into the environment. Fungi and bacterial spores can be blown in on wind currents or survive in crop residue or the soil. Viruses can also be transferred by a live vector.
  3. The environment must be conducive to the development of the specific disease. Each pathogen has an optimum temperature and moisture level needed for rapid development of the crop disease. Unfortunately, the same moisture levels needed for high-yielding crops can also increase specific disease pressure.

Understanding the Threat

Once a pathogen infects the crop, it robs nutrients and energy from the plants, which reduces the photosynthetic ability of the plant. This can reduce yield and downgrade grain quality. Fungicides can offer effective protection against crop diseases, and increase yield, grain quality and profitability.

The Right Timing

The timing of a fungicide application for disease control is critical when used as a preventative measure. Knowing when to scout fields is important for identifying what diseases are present and what stage of the crop is best for fungicide application. These are some of the common fungicide application timings for crops in Ontario.

Pulses: Prior to disease development up to the onset of flowering.

Cereal Foliar Diseases: After flag leaf emergence. The use of a fungicide at this timing is intended to keep the flag leaf free of disease for maximum yield. In wheat, oats and rye, the flag leaf contributes over 50% of the yield. In barley, the flag and the penultimate leaf contribute over 50% of yield.

Fusarium Head Blight Timing in Wheat: When 75% of wheat heads are already emerged and 50% of heads on the main stem are flowering. See labels for crop timings, disease listings and rates.

Corn: a “new disease”, Tar Spot (depending on time of infection) can rob a corn crop of up to 60% of potential yield. This disease not only continues to blow in from the US, but it can also overwinter on stover and in soil. Learn more here: Dealing With Tar Spot In 2022

Expert Insights

Using field scouting to identify diseases and selecting the optimal fungicide application timing is challenging because disease symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from other stresses. P&H Agronomists understand diseases pressures in your area and can help identify crop diseases and fungicide application timing. Call your local P&H Retail location today for more information.

Learn more about what P&H can do for you.