BASF: Be prepared for disease pressure this year

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, July 16, 2010 – Despite the successful early planting season, experts predict damaging weather and disease outbreaks this summer could impact promising yield potential in corn and soybeans. Monthly rainfall and temperature maps in Midwestern states – including Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska – calculate optimal environmental conditions for disease infestations.

“The 2010 spring season was great to many growers, resulting in a strong start to the growing season and generally a higher yield potential,” said Nick Fassler, Technical Marketing Manager at BASF. “Growers striving for record yields should look to protect their investment with proactive management strategies.”

High plant populations like those seen throughout the Midwest this year can translate to substantial yields, but leave plants at risk for additional stress. Combined with heat and rain, high plant populations are ripe for disease, which can greatly impact yield. Early scouting and proactive use of fungicides like Headline® fungicide and Headline AMP™ fungicide can curb disease and provide Plant Health benefits.

“As the season progresses and the summer heats up, growers can anticipate more disease pressure and overall plant stress because more plants are competing for sunlight, nutrients and water,” Fassler said. “This makes it incredibly important for growers to scout for diseases and select a fungicide with a proven track record of success.”

In Iowa, anthracnose, common rust and eye spot have been spotted in corn this year. To continue to protect crops, growers should scout for these diseases in their fields, especially in damp areas, such as river bottoms. To find diseases like gray leaf spot and Northern corn leaf blight, which flourish in wet conditions, growers should scout lower leaves of plants for disease indications.

“With the potential for any number of disease outbreaks, growers should choose a fungicide that protects against a multitude of debilitating diseases,” Fassler said. “Headline AMP has excellent activity on a large number of corn foliar diseases; including gray leaf spot, Southern corn leaf blight, anthracnose and Northern corn leaf blight.”

Developed especially for corn growers, Headline AMP is a combination of the same active ingredient in Headline fungicide with the addition of a unique, best-in-class triazole.

Rainfall also has produced favorable conditions for soybean brown spot in Southern Illinois and Indiana, with brown spot risk currently moderate in most parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Soybean brown spot often appears in the spring and continues to develop throughout the season. It’s important to scout fields for brown spot during warm, wet and windy weather, especially in minimal tillage situations with soybean residue. Other diseases to look out for include frogeye leaf spot, cercospora blight and Asian soybean rust.

“Soybean growers should be on the lookout all season long for disease,” Fassler said. “Headline fungicide effectively controls soybean diseases, provides Plant Health benefits and helps to protect yields. Though optimal application timing for Headline is from R2 stage through R4, Headline can be applied at all vegetative and reproductive stages of soybean development.”

For more information about Headline and Headline AMP, visit http://www.agproducts.basf.com/.

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