Spring suddenly turned into summer this past week, which means the time to apply fungicides and insecticides on corn and soybean fields is fast approaching.
Overall, growers working with the Iowa Soybean Association's On-Farm Network have conducted more than 1,500 fungicide trials over the past eight years. The profitability of fungicide use is depends on several factors. "We summarized five years of Headline fungicide application trials in soybeans and combined it with an economic calculator that can help you predict the probability of a profitable response by just plugging in your specific costs and market price expectations," says Mick Lane, communications director for the On-Farm Network.
Pat Reeg, On-Farm Network technology manager, summarized the 2011 fungicide studies at the 2012 On-Farm Network Conference which was held earlier this year. That report will be posted shortly. Look for it under "What's New". Individual trial reports from 2011 can be found here. Reports from 2010 studies are here. Click here for a poster summarizing previous On-Farm Network soybean fungicide trials.
Consider putting out some fungicide comparison trials on your own farm
This is also the time for you to consider making a few fungicide comparisons on your farm, says Lane. "While the average response in On-Farm Network trials has been a bushel or two in soybeans and maybe a little more in corn, experience tells us that responses can be higher in some areas, on some fields or soil types, than on others," he notes. "We'd like to continue to build the fungicide response database, so that when and where to expect a profitable response is more predictable."
The links above show many of the past trials. If you'd like to conduct your own trials, or would consider helping build the trial results database for the future, there are a couple of areas where the On-Farm Network has product available for testing.
One issue that is increasingly being discussed is the stewardship issue relating to fungicides. Most growers know that crop fungicides are typically grouped into strobilurins, triazoles, or a mix of these two. One of the On-Farm Network sponsors, Plant Health Care, has provided us with enough of their product (Pro-Act with Bumper) for a limited number of trials to compare with a competing product for a yield and economic comparison for corn. This was tested last year on corn.
If you'd like to participate in fungicide trials this year, contact On-Farm network
For soybean trials this year, the same company is providing ProAct with Bumper and Paradigm (an insecticide) to compare with their main competitor, with the thought that the combination of their products for soybeans is less expensive than competing combinations, and they're hoping it will be more profitable for growers. Click here to access the protocols for the Pro-Act with Bumper trials.
If you would like to participate, email Anthony Martin at email@example.com or call him (515-669-9157). The amount of product for these specific trials is limited, but if you'd like to conduct trials with any of the insecticide and/or fungicide products available to you now, ISA On-Farm Network would be happy to work with you in designing them and in processing your data at harvest.