A very challenging 2019 growing season is almost behind us. Extreme weather conditions led us to late planting of our intended crop, planting of an alternative crop, and in some cases, choosing the prevent plant route altogether. As if the weather wasn’t bad enough, commodity prices were wildly affected by trade disputes and baffling USDA reports contributed to more instability. Not only was it a stressful year for everyone in production agriculture, but these unstable and extreme conditions put our crops under stress as well.
Although not always this extreme, dealing with instability is a part of what we do. Because of this, we are constantly looking for ways to play defense against potential threats and lessen their potential impact. Over many years we’ve been closely monitoring fungicide’s performance with varying weather conditions.
On top of plant efficiency and late-season standability, our multi-year data has shown consistent yield increase with fungicide application average gain of 16.4 bu/ac on 1st year corn and a 21 bu/ac advantage with corn-on-corn acres. Soybeans with fungicide continued this positive trend as well, averaging a 5.33 bu/ac increase.
Although one can wait until the growing season to decide on fungicide application, now is the best time to capitalize on early payment programs and pre-season pricing. Some manufacturers also offer financing options that will be announced in December.
As we plan for the 2020 crop year, we are reminded yet again, we are in a business that is neither perfect nor predictable. Together we must deal with a broad range of uncertainties, yet, like the year before we will find ways to overcome the many challenges that exist. From our perspective, fungicide is one way to proactively play defense knowing data has backed its performance.