Many hybrids and varieties are developed to be resistant to potentially damaging insects and diseases, but this isn’t always possible. Fungicides and insecticides are important tools that pick up where genetics end, protecting crops against disease and pests when plants are not resistant.
Several diseases can affect canola, with the most widespread being sclerotinia white mould. In soybeans, the main foliar diseases of concern in Western Canada are sclerotinia white mould and septoria brown spot. Fungicide applications can provide protection from these diseases to preserve yield and quality.
When choosing a fungicide, know:
- What diseases the product controls;
- Its performance on targeted diseases;
- The type of fungicide and its properties, such as: its movement and coverage abilities, whether it provides protective, post-infection, and/or eradicative protection, and its residual activity; and,
- How the product fits into your overall spraying program, required water volume and application rates.
When deciding to use a fungicide, evaluate the risk of disease and the value of the crop. Disease risk depends on weather conditions and timing of weather events (for example high humidity in the crop canopy during flowering), crop rotation, variety or hybrid selection, and history of disease occurrence on a field under question. Understanding these factors will help you determine whether a fungicide is needed, and how much to invest in your fungicide program (multiple applications may be needed).
Fungicides can be very effective when applied correctly and efficiently. It is important to apply the fungicide at the correct timing and rate. Obtaining full coverage is also important, so water volume, speed, and equipment type are important considerations as well.
Without a fungicide, growers have far less control. Disease severity depends on weather conditions. If disease is present, not using a fungicide can have devastating results including yield and/or quality loss.
Get more information about diseases or fungicides from your local crop protection retailer or agronomist, and crop protection supplier representatives.
This crop tip was brought to you by Kirsten Ratzlaff, DuPont Crop Protection.