Wednesday, May 14, 2014

From the Agronomists: Do I need to apply fungicide to my hail damaged corn?

If you have questions on how to evaluate corn after hail injury, you may want to refer to the following blog:  Assessing Hail Damaged Corn

Many years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first granted a supplemental label registration for use of some fungicides on registered crops for disease control and plant health. This label stated that the fungicide can provide a benefit of "better tolerance to hail" in corn.

Do I really need to apply fungicide to my hail damaged corn?

The answer is NO - you don't need fungicides!


1.)  Yes, plant disease pathogens are more likely to infect wounded or stressed corn; however, the diseases controlled by foliar fungicides are FUNGAL and do not require wounding for infection. Bacterial diseases (such as Goss's wilt) are more likely to be an issue on susceptible hybrids and are NOT controlled by foliar fungicides.

2.)   Research conducted thus far has shown that fungicides have not been able to increase the yield or speed up the recovery of corn injured by hail.

3.)  Some sources even state that the defoliated crop (due to hail) would not be able to effectively take up the the fungicide.

4.)  A fungicide application is more likely to increase yield when a disease threat is present, in a high risk environment, and the disease levels warrant management.

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