Corn School: Fungicide application timing on a variable corn crop

Ontario corn growers will have plenty of variables to consider as they plan fungicide applications in the weeks ahead.

An extended five-week planting season has produced huge variability in the crop, with current maturity ranging from the two- to eight-leaf stage depending on where you farm in the province. In this episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn School, BASF agronomist Ken Currah looks at how the season is shaping up and offers tips on how growers can build an effective fungicide strategy for their 2018 crop.

Plant health and disease suppression, vomitoxin reduction, and western bean cutworm (WBC) control are all factors that need to be considered. Application timing is the most important decision. If growers are focused on disease control and plant health, Currah says that pyraclostrobin fungicides are a good choice and they offer a wide application window – from first tassel through to full tassel.

“When it comes to a western bean cutworm insecticide pass we want to apply that once the threshold levels have been met,” says Currah. “We want to be applying that to the silks – we don’t want to see an application of insecticide prior to silking.” Even if moth trap counts get high, traps are full and/or growers are finding egg masses above threshold, it’s important to wait for silks to appear before spraying a WBC insecticide, he says.

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Currah notes that the appearance of silks overlaps with the application window for fungicides that target vomitoxin and DON reduction. “So WBC and DON fit together, and they also fit into the wider window of first tassel to full tassel for the pyraclostrobin fungicides.”

In the video, Currah also discusses key corn diseases to watch for including northern corn leaf blight, grey leaf spot, and eye spot as well the growing importance of employing multiple modes of action.

Click here for more corn school episodes.


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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