New concepts require rigorous testing. Dr. Heather Kelly, associate professor of field crops pathology at the University of Tennessee, can attest to that.
For the last two growing seasons, 2019 and 2020, Kelly has been able to conduct trials with Xyway® LFR® fungicide. Putting it under the microscope and to the test, Kelly examined how it stands up in the mid-South, especially against gray leaf spot in a corn-on-corn environment.
We met with Dr. Kelly to discuss her experience including what she saw, learned and thinks about the new solution.
You had the chance to first trial Xyway LFR fungicide back in 2019. Can you tell us a little bit about that first experience?
Kelly: In 2019, we were in many of the same fields I'm doing research trials in today. We had really good gray leaf spot disease pressure and saw some really great contrast between disease management and reduction of disease with the Xyway LFR fungicide trials. That was really exciting to see because sometimes with lower disease pressure you can't pick up those differences.
Jumping ahead to last summer, 2020, what were you seeing in your trials?
Kelly: We saw a lot of the same of what we saw in 2019. Gray leaf spot is our number one disease here. The plot is a continuous no-till corn field that's been managed essentially for high gray leaf spot pressure. We're under irrigation, and we plant a hybrid that’s highly susceptible to gray leaf spot, but it's also a high-yielding hybrid, so it's still realistic as far as what you could see when it comes to yields. The pressure we had at the site is much higher than I would expect to see in most farmers' fields.
Achieving foliar disease protection with an at-plant application is rather unique. What are your thoughts on this approach?
Kelly: It's a really interesting concept to put out a product at planting that can control disease through tassel or the critical time period to protect yield. Controlling a disease with an at-plant application has a lot of benefits to reducing costs and I think that's one of the most exciting aspects of it. The logistics of it can make things easier for farmers by not having to worry about rain and when you are going to get out with an aerial applicator. We're also not having to worry about the gallons per acre, carrying water that's going out with aerial applications. If you could put something out at planting that you know is going to give you protection and maybe avoid some of those costs or having to worry about some of those decisions would be very nice. I think that's the most unique and interesting aspect of the Xyway brand fungicides technology.
Looking at everything you observed during your trials, do you have any overarching conclusions regarding Xyway® LFR® fungicide?
Kelly: It's just nice to see something new on the market that is looking as good as our top performers in the field and those top performers are being applied at tassel. It seems like an exciting aspect of disease management and the possibilities moving forward are really intriguing. The economical savings and the interesting aspects of going about disease management is what I like, and I'm glad to be investigating it.
Learn more about Xyway® brand fungicides.