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Considerations for Aerial Fungicide Applications

The old saying about corn being “knee high by the 4th of July” does not seem to apply as much anymore, since here in the Midwest we are nearly at full tassel by the 4th, or very soon after. As plants near the tassel-stage, it is important to consider late-season stresses to the crop and ways to protect yield potential. One way to do this is through aerial application of fungicide for crop health and prevention of late-season disease.

It is important to assess the current crop condition before moving on with any major decisions. The results of many weather extremes have been seen in the fields this year — hail, strong winds, high heat, and large rainfall events. These events set up many different scenarios to consider before taking action:

  1. At the time of the weather event, what was the current crop stage and how much damage has there been?
  2. How has yield potential been impacted?
  3. With the weather that has been experienced, is there potential for late-season disease progression?
  4. Do I have crop insurance to factor in before assessing the return on investment of protecting my yield potential?

After those questions are answered, evaluating the fungicide used and the hybrid’s response to it, along with economic return, should all be considered before pulling the trigger on fungicide application.

At E4 we use a multitude of tools to help growers assess where they stand, especially as tassel-stage becomes closer. Aerial imagery can be a helpful tool for assessing overall crop health; on the ground Field Scouts can verify disease pressure and assist in scheduling the proper timing of aerial application to ensure the best possible return for our growers. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we would be glad to discuss your operation!