Foliar diseases can cripple silage quality and integrity. Use these steps to make fungicide applications to protect your investment.
- Evaluate field history. Scout your fields and determine the locations most susceptible to disease. Many foliar pathogens survive in corn residue on soil surfaces, and disease risk increases for fields planted to corn year after year.
- Monitor weather patterns. Increased rain and humidity create the perfect environment for thriving foliar diseases. Continuous cloud cover and extended dew periods of at least 12 hours will speed the disease’s spread.
- Scout fields before tasseling. Get in the field at least 10 days before tasseling to identify any diseases present and determine the severity. For gray leaf spot or northern corn leaf blight, you can estimate the severity by counting the number of infected plants as a percentage of the total number of plants assessed.
- Determine your fungicide use. If at least 50 percent of your plants show signs of foliar diseases, consider using a fungicide to protect from further loss of quality and yield. Consult with your local agronomist to factor in environment conditions and plant development to get the most out of your fungicide investments.
- Follow label directions. Apply your fungicide at the correct rate for the growth stage and adhere to any restrictions on spray quantities and harvest dates.