By John Schoenhals, Pioneer Field Agronomist in northern Ohio
Fungicide applications to corn and soybeans is an important management practice in an “average” year, but what about in 2019, a year
in which many corn and soybean acres were planted much later than normal? To answer this question, it is important to understand the role and function of fungicides.
Leaves serve as a “factory” for the plant, collecting sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce sugars used for grainfill. Healthy leaves produce sufficient amounts of sugars to meet grainfill needs as well as support plant health.
When plant diseases are present, the efficiency of this factory is reduced. If the demand for sugars is greater than what an unhealthy plant can produce, grain yield is reduced and overall plant health will rapidly decline as cannibalization of stalks takes place.
When fungicide applications occur, the leaf “factory” is protected from further disease development for a period of at least two to three weeks.… Continue reading