Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fungicides may not increase corn yields unless disease develops

Date:
June 22, 2011
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Unless a corn crop is at risk of developing fungal diseases, a new study shows that farmers would be smart to skip fungicide treatments that promise increased yields.

Kiersten Wise's research shows that fungicide use on corn without the presence of disease does not produce higher yields.
Credit: Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell

Unless a corn crop is at risk of developing fungal diseases, a Purdue University study shows that farmers would be smart to skip fungicide treatments that promise increased yields.

Related Articles


Kiersten Wise, an assistant professor of botany and plant pathology, said fungicides used in fields where conditions were optimal for fungal diseases improved yields and paid for themselves. In fields where fungal diseases are unlikely to develop, however, applying a fungicide is likely a waste of money.

"About five years ago, we never used fungicides in hybrid corn. Then there was this push to use fungicides for yield enhancement, even without disease problems," said Wise, who collaborated on findings that were published as an American Phytopathological Society feature article in the journal Phytopathology. "We found that you would have to get a substantial yield increase for a fungicide treatment to pay for itself. We didn't see that yield increase on a consistent basis, and it wasn't predictable."

Wise and her collaborators reviewed published data from foliar fungicide tests in 14 states, as well as data from their own research plots, to determine which circumstances led to yield increases when fungicides were used. They found that a combination of several factors that would contribute to fungal disease -- no-till fields, fungus-susceptible hybrids, continuous corn, wet field conditions, etc. -- needed to be present for yields to increase with fungicide applications.

"In our trials, even where conditions were optimal for disease, if disease didn't develop, we didn't see a yield increase," Wise said.

Growers need to weigh the cost of the treatments -- usually $32-$34 per acre -- against the possible benefits and the price of corn. At low corn prices, it takes a larger yield increase to recoup the cost of a fungicide application.

Wise said the general rule was that growers needed to see a yield increase of about six bushels per acre to recover their investment.

Wise collaborated with researchers from Iowa State University, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, Mississippi State University, University of Maryland, University of Kentucky, University of Wisconsin, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Wise said she would continue research to determine more specific guidelines for when fungicide applications increase profits. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council funded the work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. The original article was written by Brian Wallheimer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. A. Paul, L. V. Madden, C. A. Bradley, A. E. Robertson, G. P. Munkvold, G. Shaner, K. A. Wise, D. K. Malvick, T. W. Allen, A. Grybauskas, P. Vincelli, and P. Esker. Meta-Analysis of Yield Response of Hybrid Field Corn to Foliar Fungicides in the U.S. Corn Belt. Phytopathology, 2011

Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Fungicides may not increase corn yields unless disease develops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622145904.htm>.
Purdue University. (2011, June 22). Fungicides may not increase corn yields unless disease develops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622145904.htm
Purdue University. "Fungicides may not increase corn yields unless disease develops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622145904.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

AFP (Nov. 25, 2014) Phnom Penh's only working elephant was blessed by a crowd of chanting Buddhist monks Tuesday as she prepared for a life of comfortable jungle retirement after three decades of giving rides to tourists. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins