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Category Archives: Ag Chemicals

Fungicide Application Tips for 2016

For the most part, corn planting is finished in West-Central Illinois, Eastern Iowa and Northeastern Missouri. Now it’s time to think about protecting that investment with fungicide applications. As I’m writing this, corn for October delivery is $3.52 to the river. That certainly makes finances tight, and we must evaluate the economics of everything we do more closely. It’s critical to do everything possible to increase per acre profit. Fungicide is one product that you can use to increase that per acre profit with very little effort. 

Fungicide Map

SOIL Service has been doing fungicide work for our customers since 2006. This will be our eleventh year working to provide you with the best service and timeliest applications. In those 11 years, we have amassed a lot of data on yield responses from fungicide applications. Our annual average response has been between 12-18 bushels per acre for our customers. This year, our recommended fungicide programs will cost between $25-30 per acre. At today’s grain price, that requires a minimum yield response of 7.1 bushels per acre to break even. Anything over that is profit. A 15 bushel response would give you about a $25 per acre increase in profit. Factoring in the increased plant standability and ease of combining, it is easy to expect fungicide applications to be a good and profitable idea again in 2016. 

In 2015, our growers saw a bigger yield response from fungicide than usual. Many tell us it was well over 20 bushels per acre. In general, we believe that SOIL Service aerial customers get a more consistent response than the average aerial customer, due mainly to three things:

  1. SOIL Service, Inc. offers the Landoil® and SOIL Boost Plus® surfactant package that research has proven makes your applications more effective, consistent and profitable.
  2. Three-gallon application rate. Fact- Better coverage will give you better control of the foliar diseases. At SOIL Service, we use a standard application rate of 3 GPA. This is 50% more than our competition. In some cases, we even use 4 GPA.
  3. Foliar Feeding. Foliar Opp®, Max72SRN® and 2075SRN® are all available along with your fungicides. This is a trend that is growing nationally, and regardless of soil test readings or soil quality, it seems to be a very profitable and popular segment of production agriculture. Whether it’s the micronutrients, available nitrogen or P & K products that you need, our sales team can help you decide which product or combination will help give you the most bang for your buck.

Please keep in mind that we can include insecticides with any of the aerial applications.  We can make recommendations about corn rootworm beetles, soybean aphids, bean leaf beetles, corn aphids and many other pests that will help minimize the effect they have on your crop. 

Soybeans also benefit greatly from fungicide applications at the R3 stage.  Using an airplane for applications allows timely application regardless of soil moisture conditions, and it prevents sprayer tracks in the field at a time when the beans will not recover from being run over.  

Please give us a call to get set up to spray your acres and get you that additional $25 per acre profit this year.

Corn Crop 2016: Advice from John Viertel

WOW! In all my years of traveling the state of Missouri during the month of April, I don’t think that I have ever seen the corn crop go in the ground faster or under more ideal conditions than it did this year! After scouting some fields on April 28, the newly emerged plants look excellent. One field was almost in the V-2 stage, and there are probably some fields in Missouri that are further along than that. Emergence and population were virtually perfect. Weed control – excellent!

So now what? Are you worried about dry weather later in the growing season? Is the nitrogen that was applied last fall still there? How can the yield potential of this crop be maximized from this point on and still get a good “return on investment?”

These questions can all be addressed very easily. In 2013, we did a one-half rate fungicide trial on the corn that was in our Soil Health Study Field at the V-5 to V-7 stage. That year, there were good planting conditions and good moisture early in the season, but then it turned hot and dry in July and August. The whole field’s average yield (across the scales) was 180 bushels per acre (bpa). Good corn! The fungicide trial in particular stood out. Half-rates were taken of three different fungicides, some alone, some with 2 gallons per acre of Max72SRN®. The average of the five different trials was 12 bpa better than the whole field average. The 2 gallons per acre of MAX 72 SRN alone yielded 19 bpa better than the whole field average.

Got your attention now?

Here is what I observed during the dry period of the summer. Where the fungicides had been applied in that V-5 to V-7 stage, the corn plants were healthier looking, and they showed very little stress. That is what the fungicide companies are saying is the benefit of applying earlier in the season. The application can be made with Soil Service’s MAX 72. If you want or need more potassium and sulfur, our NEW 2075 SRN® could also be used.

How do you know if the nitrogen fertilizer applied last fall is still there or not? Do a soil nitrate test, along with tissue tests of your corn. The time to start doing that is now! We are in a rain delay at the time of this writing. As soon as it dries up, soybeans are going to be planted just as fast as the corn got planted. So during this delay, soil and tissue samples could be pulled and sent in.

So will you get a “return on investment” using this crop management strategy? As of April 30, new crop corn was at $3.55 in central Missouri. At just a 12 bpa increase, that’s a $42.60 per acre increase gross, at a cost of about $27 (not including application). It could be lower depending on the fungicide of your choice. That’s a net of $15 per acre. Plus, you get the benefit of healthier corn that can withstand heat and drought stress better. In these times of uncertain markets and lower margins, that $15 per acre looks pretty good!

So here is my recommendation at the V-5 to V-7 stage of growth:

  • Stratego YLD at ½ rate (or the fungicide of your choice)
  • 2 gallons per acre of MAX 72 SRN (or 2075 SRN)
  • 16 oz. per acre of SOIL BOOST PLUS® (fungicides work better at 5 to 5.5 pH)
  • 16 oz. per acre of LANDOIL® (for a better spray pattern, coverage, and penetration and absorption)

If you have any questions, you can call or text me at 573-680-6951. My email is jviertel@soilserviceinc.com.