Growers are planting earlier every year, driven by new hybrids, technologies and maximizing the length of the growing season. Especially after a late-starting and early-ending season like 2019, your customers will be itching to get out and get started. But when they do, early planting can mean colder soils, which leads to delayed emergence and slower plant growth. Early season wet, cold conditions can also lead to more disease, including pythium and rhizoctonia diseases. These early season diseases can lead to less nutrient and water uptake, even at low levels that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Combining an in-furrow fertility program with a fungicide can get a crop off to the best possible start. The fertilizer will improve emergence and vigor by adding bioavailable nutrients where they’re needed, and the fungicide will help control early-season diseases

But not all fungicides are the same. Choosing an azoxystrobin-based fungicide, such as AZteroid® FC 3.3, provides added plant health benefits which can improve the overall health and vigor of the plant. Some of these plant health benefits include increased emergence, faster growth, greater early root development, increased nodulation (in soybeans) and better use of water and nutrients.

The most efficient way to use both a fungicide and a fertilizer in-furrow is to mix them together in the fertilizer tank. AZteroid FC 3.3 is the first fungicide able to completely mix with liquid fertilizer for application at planting.

Which Fungicide Should Be Used?

Strobilurin fungicides control many soil-borne early season diseases. These fungicides can also improve the health of the plant. When applied in-furrow, increased plant health effects are a result of the fungicide being absorbed by the roots and moving through the xylem of the plant. AZteroid FC 3.3 is xylem mobile, unlike many other fungicides so they will not provide the same level of plant health effects when applied in-furrow.

Common Soil-Borne Diseases

PYTHIUM

  • Prefers cold soil (<60°F)
  • Damping off can occur before or after emergence
  • Rotten roots are brown and soggy in appearance
  • Plants can be easily pulled from soil

RHIZOCTONIA

  • Most common in wet soil or when germination is delayed (around 80°F)
  • Shrunken, reddish-brown lesion on hypocotyls near soil line
  • Causes damping off in seedling stage

Using Fungicides at Planting Can Increase Profits in 3 Ways:

  1. By providing healthy conditions in the furrow during planting, growers will have healthier seedlings with maximum yield potential and increased profits.
  2. Multiple modes of action from the in-furrow application with the fungicide on the seed treatment provides the seed with a strong barrier against yield-robbing soil diseases.
  3. In-furrow fungicide use may also decrease the need for expensive in-season aerial applications because a healthier, stronger plant is more resistant to disease. This will be particularly true in years with low disease pressure, and will allow growers to wait until mid-season to decide whether or not an aerial application is required.