Applying fungicide at the right time maximizes profits, according to Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR) seven-year data. Beck's says adding a fungicide at the R3 growth stage results in a return on investment of $17.68 per acre. 

Return on Investment

7-Year Multi-Location Fungicide Timing Return on Investment

“The R3 growth stage is the key time to apply a fungicide in soybeans and will last approximately 10 days,” says Travis Burnett, field agronomist at Beck’s. “It’s crucial to target this window to experience a consistent response year in, year out.”

The R2 growth stage is too soon to apply fungicide. At this stage, the plant’s upper nodes haven’t been developed, so pod retention and seed size wouldn’t be impacted. At the R4 growth stage, it is too late to apply as the plant’s lower nodes would be too developed to make an impact. 

The time of the day fungicide is applied is another factor. During the testing, when sprayed at 8 a.m., there was an average of $12.97 per acre ROI, compared to an average of $7.63 per acre when applied at 3 p.m. 

Time of Day Yield Average

3-Year Multi-Location Fungicide Time of Day Average

“By applying fungicide at 8 a.m. after a heavy dew when the stomates of the plant are open, we have seen additional coverage on the soybean plant,” says Collin Scherer, PFR location lead at Beck’s. “This additional coverage also has the potential for reduced carrier rates. PFR data indicates that 15-20 gallons of carrier rate is the sweet spot.” 

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