Spraying Fungicide in Hot Weather
It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago we were cold and wet wanting it to warm up and dry. It has not taken a few 90 degree days to take us to dry conditions in many fields. As many have noticed the corn has curled or pineappled in many fields the last few days during the heat of the day, and in the evenings has uncurled and we have had moisture in the form of due to “water” the plants and help respiration. These weather conditions have forced corn roots to grow downward and “search” for water, which should be a benefit in July and August when we are typically dry and the past few years the corn has not had to search for water has only shallow roots early, and are forced to move downward during pollination or ear fill.
One thing that we can do to help our corn and increase yields is to spray a fungicide with a good residual. Fungicides are known to slow down respiration in the heat and keep the plants cooler, helping them stay healthy and green longer. Spraying fungicide on corn early while in heat stress, helps the corn stay healthy while determining it’s ear size, developing it’s tassel, and will increase stalk strength for late summer rain and wind events. It has also been claimed by chemical companies that spraying an early fungicide will assist plants in using valuable nutrients such as water, nitrogen, and phosphorus more efficiently.
Talk to your local SFG agronomist about keeping your plants healthy.