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Measuring the Economic and Agronomic Benefit of Timed, Preventative Fungicide Applications to Soybean 2006

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Project Leaders: M. Dennis, Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Seneca County; J. Dennis, Livestock and Field Crops IPM Educator, NYS IPM Program

Cooperators: D. Freier, M. Lott, Field Crop Producer, Seneca County; G. Bergstrom, Extension Professor of Plant Pathology, Cornell University ; M. Stanyard, Field Crop Educator with the NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crop Team; J. Hanshar, Farm Business Management Educator with the NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crop Team

Abstract: Preventative soybean fungicides Headline and Quadris were applied to soybeans at the R3 growth stage at two farm scale research sites in Seneca County, NY. Results of this research indicate that the amount of disease present did not justify fungicide application for disease control, and fungicides did not reduce disease incidence or severity of Septoria brown spot or downy mildew. Partial budget analysis indicates a net loss in profit per acre when fungicides are applied in the absence of Asian Soybean Rust, and at non-economic levels of other common foliar diseases, as a preventative tactic. Results show that wheel damage from application equipment traffic can constitute a significant loss in yield. This study was done for one season only and needs to be repeated to further evaluate the use of foliar fungicides for a growth enhancement effect under another set of environmental conditions. Having the means and/or equipment to apply fungicides in the event of occurrence of Asian Soybean Rust must remain a consideration for soybean producers.