A Timely Application of a Much Needed Foliar Fungicide in Wheat Can Pay

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Wheat is one of the major field crops for Pasquotank County and much of northeastern North Carolina. Under favorable growing conditions, intensive management of wheat can provide yields ranging from 90 bushels per acre or higher. Among the production practices and inputs evaluated for their improvement in yield has been  a much needed timely application of a foliar fungicide in wheat.

Because of a number of factors such as weather and cropping systems, foliar diseases are one the major “yield robbers” of wheat in northeast NC. Two replicated tests conducted by Extension Agents of Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank and Perquimans, have documented the benefit of a timely application of a foliar fungicide.

In 2016, a test was conducted at the Northeast Ag Expo Small Grains Field Day site, with cooperator, David Temple, to evaluate the response of 22 varieties of wheat to a timely application of a foliar fungicide. The treatments were replicated 4 times in the test with each of the 22 varieties having one-half of the plot treated with a foliar fungicide at flag leaf stage and the other half not treated with a foliar fungicide.

The average yield response of the 22 varieties was 16.7 bushels per acre. Of the 22 varieties, 21 had a positive yield ranging from 4.1 bushels per acre to 39 bushels per acre. Another test was conducted in 2011 with similar results. Thirty-seven varieties of wheat had an average yield response of 10.3 bushels per acre with individual varieties having a positive yield response ranging from 3.3 bushels per acre to 15.9 bushels per acre.

As documented by these tests, a timely application of a much needed foliar fungicide can benefit wheat. Understanding how wheat grows, the conditions needed for foliar diseases and how to monitor them in the crop are the first steps in determining when to apply a timely application of a much needed foliar fungicide in wheat. For more information on this topic, please contact the Pasquotank County Center (252-338-3954) or your local Extension Center.

wheat fieldYield responses to fungicide treatment graph