Fungicides do a lot more than fight crop diseases

A Minnesota agronomist suspects fungicides do a lot more than fight plant diseases. 

Mark Glady with WinField United says part of his job involves evaluating treated and untreated fields.

“This year doing three different times in mid-July, late July, and mid-August, I was really hard-pressed to find any foliar diseases. Yet we still came back with 12 to 15-bushel yield responses for applying a foliar fungicide at tassel time.”

He tells Brownfield most growers tend to associate fungicides exclusively with controlling fungus.

“There really wasn’t much fungal disease present, yet we still saw a very nice response to fungicides. Which makes me think there’s a lot more going on with fungicides than just disease prevention.”

That includes the suppression of ethylene.

“Which keeps plant cells young and actively photosynthesizing, or actively working to produce grain. Fungicides have also been shown to help with nitrogen assimilation into protein (which) are the building blocks of plant cells.”

Glady says fungicides generally help corn live longer, which helps with dry-down in the fall.

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