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Thinking about an Early-season Fungicide Application in Wheat?

By: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

The May 19, 2016 edition of the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Crop & Pest Report featured an article by Andrew Friskop (Extension Plant Pathologist, NDSU) about the factors producers should consider when evaluating an early-season fungicide application in wheat.

There are several factors that will influence the value of an early-season fungicide. Friskop reviews some of those in his article, including crop rotation, tillage, weather, variety selection, scouting and fungicide selection. Another part of the article reads:

“What to expect from an early-season fungicide application? – Studies conducted by NDSU over the last 20 years have shown that a two- to six-bushel response occurs when an early-season fungicide was used in a wheat-on-wheat production system with minimum tillage when favorable weather was present. The incorporation of other management tools such as crop rotation and tillage will reduce the risk of tan spot development and reduce the expectant yield response. Also, remember an early-season fungicide will protect the leaves available at the time of application, but as the wheat crop matures, newly developed leaves will be left vulnerable to leaf spot and rust pathogens.”

One factor not discussed in the article is disease resistance management – it must be another consideration. When a fungicide is used multiple times, the risk that pathogens can develop resistance to the fungicide can increase. Where fungicide application is required, producers should rotate between fungicide groups.

Reprinted and edited with permission. The original article appeared in Crop Chatter.

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