Tag Archives: fungicide

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.

Reflection on 2015: Calculating the Benefits of CropChoice Starter and Sugar E-Boost

Pioneer Power Pack Test Plot bar chart

Thank you to everyone for their business over the past year. It has been just a little bit over a year since Andrea and I bought SOIL Service, Inc. We very much appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement that we have heard over the last 13 months. They are more helpful than many of you know. We all appreciate our customers sticking with SOIL Service through the transition.

CropChoice® Starter fertilizer has come down substantially for 2016 when compared to its pricing for 2015. Obviously, grain prices have done the same, and the overall economics for 2016 are not looking as good as we have become accustomed to over the past four or five years. Years of research have shown that the best, most efficient bang for your phosphorus dollar is in-furrow starter fertilizer. At our warehouse research farm, we test many things. Over the past few years, we have been fortunate enough to work with Pioneer on four pack field trials. This year, we had a set of four different hybrids planted side by side, each with and without our CropChoice fertilizer. While we unfortunately placed this trial in a pretty wet part of our plots and didn’t get the overall high yields we have come to expect, the starter fertilizer differences were quite obvious over the course of the entire year. These differences showed up in both visible plant differences during the growing season and at the year-end yield. The average advantage to starter fertilizer over the four plots was an amazing 25 bushels per acre. Below is a graph that maps the results of this trial.

Pioneer Power Pack Test Plot

The average advantage to starter fertilizer over the four plots was 25 bushels per acre.

We saw this kind of result in many places last year, and while we would not usually expect to see a 25 bushel advantage every year, it does show you the potential benefit of starter fertilizer. Year in and year out, we see a definite, profitable advantage to using CropChoice starter fertilizer.

Last year, we also saw a very nice advantage to fungicide in corn applied at VT (tassel). If you are one of our existing customers for fungicide, you will be hearing from your salesmen over the next month about booking and the pre-pay advantages for aerial application. If you are not currently one of our customers, feel free to call us. We would love to visit with you about everything we have to offer. 


One new product that we are happy to announce is the Sugar E-Boost®. It is a liquid sugar product that has the highest sugar concentration available in a liquid form, and it stores very well. We have tested this product in our nutrient recycling program. We have also tested it as an additive to the Foliar Opp®, Slow Release Nitrogen and other foliar products. We have seen a very good response from the Sugar E-Boost. Our plan is to test it extensively this spring in-furrow. If any of you are interested in helping us test Sugar E-Boost, please let one of us know.


As we have closed the book on our first year as owners, it has been nice to take a few minutes and reflect on the year. Again, we would like to thank the customers who have made our transition possible.  Andrea and I would also like to take a minute to thank our employees. They are the ones who have had to put up with us as new owners and work through some of the hiccups that we have created along the way. Thank you for working with us to make this a success, and we look forward to many more years of success with all of you.