Just as corn growers are getting their heads around the idea of using any fungicide, Bayer CropScience has another idea: use it early.
Stratego YLD, the new fungicide from Bayer that growers have been seeing in field trials for two years, now is labeled for corn and soybeans. The strobilurin/triazole combination is in test on 50,000 acres this year and will be available commercially for the 2011 season.
In corn, Stratego YLD is particularly noted for its control of gray leaf spot, brown spot, anthracnose and various corn rust diseases. The use rate is 4-5 fl oz/a with a maximum use rate of 10 ounces per season.
In soybeans, it's noted for control of many diseases as well, including anthracnose, soybean rust, frogeye leaf spot, Septoria brown spot and powdery mildew. The use rate is 4 – 4.65 fl oz/a with a maximum use rate of 13.95 ounces per season.
Standard issue for a fungicide. Here's the twist. Randy Myers, Bayer's fungicide product manager for row crops, says to spray corn at V5. Mix a half rate of Stratego YLD with a herbicide and send it over the field.
But, wait, growers have been cautioned that spraying reduced rates can lead to resistance. Not so in this case, Myers says.
First, the corn is tiny at the time of the spray. "You're talking about spraying a plant that's a fraction of the size of the plant" at the time it traditionally would be sprayed, Myers says.
Second, Myers says, the benefit of spraying early should be the primary consideration. Plants that are healthy are able to withstand stress later in the season far better than plants that struggle early in the season.
"I don't believe growers need to make a decision of whether to spray based on resistance management," Myers says.
After the early application, Myers says, growers should continue to scout their fields and spray again if needed.
Myers talks about his experience with Stratego YLD in the video you can play on this page.