Late-season fungicide and nitrogen applications

Many of you are putting the final touches on your 2018 corn crop. When applying fungicides or nitrogen late in the season, are you factoring in the specific hybrids of your farm? If not, you should!

Not all hybrids have the same yield response to these final crop-input applications. Some, due to natural plant health characteristics, have a high or low yield response to fungicide application. The same is true with nitrogen.

Nitrogen-use efficiency and overall top-end yield potential factor into whether late application is needed. The question is, how do you know which hybrids need that last application of fungicide or nitrogen? After all, an investment is great as long as there’s a return.

In any given year, what’s the likelihood an application of nitrogen or fungicide will provide a return on investment? As mentioned in previous newsletters, WinField United (one of our suppliers) has done years of research through its Answer Plot® system to identify a hybrid’s response to nitrogen and fungicide applications. Below is a snapshot of some of their findings:

As you can see, you would want to consider a nitrogen application at 103-104 days of maturity if you were planting DKC53-56; you would definitely want to consider a fungicide application due to this hybrid’s high response to fungicide. With DKC54-38, on the other hand, you would more than likely have a low response to additional nitrogen; but you would want to consider a fungicide application.

At 111-112 days of maturity, DKC61-55, like DKC53-56, may respond to additional nitrogen. However, there is a high probability it would respond to fungicide. On the other end of the spectrum, DKC62-20 would likely respond to additional nitrogen, but odds are it would not respond to a fungicide application.

These are a just a few of the hybrids WinField United has tested. Many other brands offered by Key Cooperative have also been tested, including Croplan®, DEKALB®, NK Brand, Mycogen® and one other national brand.

If you’re interested to find out if the varieties on your farm respond to late-season applications of nitrogen or fungicide, please consult your local Key Cooperative Sales Agronomist. They will help you evaluate your hybrids, while taking into consideration other management practices like crop rotation and previous crop-input applications.

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