Go or no? Making the fungicide spray decision in dry conditions

(Liang Qu/Flickr.com/CC BY-SA 2.0

A dry bias across a large portion of the Prairies has been on everyone’s minds this growing season. In fact, the growing season ran the whole gamut on abiotic pressures that crops can face.

Jimmi-Lee Jackson, market development agronomist for Bayer Crop Science in the Tisdale, Sask., area says that while cereals and pulses look good in her area, she can’t say the same for the rest of the province that’s faced all sorts of issues — stalled crops, temperature swings, insect pressure, and more.

Rory Cranston, market development manager for cereals and pulses at Bayer who covers a large portion of North America, says that one week he wrote an article on applying product in cold temperatures, and the very next week on extreme heat.

Cranston and Jackson joined RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney recently to talk about the variability of conditions, disease concerns that have the potential to really hinder the crops, and new fungicide options available from Bayer.

Clubroot in canola is moving into more areas of Saskatchewan, blackleg is a concern that Jackson says growers ask about frequently, and of course, sclerotinia is something that fungicides can target. She adds that in cereals, fusarium head blight is top of mind for most growers, and in pulses, anthracnose and aphanomyces are the main concerns lately.

Cranston says that rust in cereals is a concern if the winds are right, and that he’s heard more questions from growers than usual about ergot and bacterial leaf streak.

Being proactive about these diseases means looking at rotation, and the last time the host-crop was grown and considering the environmental conditions of the year. Knowing the previous neighbouring crops were and what diseases may be around, is also a good tactic for being aware of disease pressures.

There are forecast maps and decision-making tools available for deciding whether or not to apply a fungicide, but at the very least, do the “wet pants test,” to determine whether or not the environmental conditions are conducive to disease development.

Catch the full conversation below:

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