When making fungicide applications, timing and application method can be critical factor in the outcome. This is something that brothers Dan, Dave and Doug Rebout have been experimenting with on their 3,900-acre operation in Janesville, Wis.
The Rebouts have strip-tilled primarily corn for the last 15 years, and they no-till soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. When I visited their operation shortly after planting, their 2,500 acres of spring strip-tilled corn was off to a good start.
One of the new wrinkles they’ve added to their fertility program is an in-furrow application of Headline fungicide, from BASF. The Rebouts had typically applied fungicide during their herbicide application with a Miller Nitro self-propelled sprayer.
But they weren’t sold on the effectiveness of the application and last year, applied small amounts of Headline in-furrow with their 24-row John Deere planter. BASF representatives positioned cameras in specific parts of their farm to monitor crop performance throughout the season.
“In areas with a lot of cornstalk material and residue cover on the top, it seemed like the corn came through it quicker and the yield maps showed a bump all the way up to 12 bushels better in some spots,” Dave says. “On average it was about 7-bushel advantage.”
While the initial results were encouraging, the Rebouts want to see if they are replicated this year, before they make in-furrow fungicide a staple of their strip-till operation.
“We’re always willing to experiment,” Dave says. “If we can gain a few bushels without spending too much money, we’re always willing to go after it.”
Doing your homework on return on investment before making a long-term commitment to such treatments is always a good practice. There are several resources and tip sheets available to help guide farmers on fungicide application including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Corn Disease Working Group fungicide efficacy ratings sheet.
What methods of fungicide application are you using in your strip-till operation? Share your story with me at (262) 782-4480, ext. 441, or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.