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BASF: Late planting dates make corn prone to disease; prevention imperative for higher yields


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – While it may be too early to tell which specific diseases will impact corn growers most this season, it is clear that disease prevention will be imperative to high yields in 2011, as a difficult spring in many areas of the country led to a late planting date.

Growers worried about the impact of a late planting date on their corn yields can address those concerns through an appropriately timed application of a fungicide product, such as Headline AMP™ fungicide.

“The 2011 spring season was difficult for growers across much of the Midwest, putting stress on crops early in the season,” said Nick Fassler, Technical Market Manager, BASF. “As the season progresses, additional stressors will compound, making it difficult for growers to manage disease pressures to protect their crop. It will be important for growers to scout their fields for disease, and combat the problem immediately, to help maximize yield and get the most out of every acre.”

Many Midwestern growers were unable to meet target planting dates because of wet conditions, which delayed the season across the Corn Belt. Late-planted corn is often stressed by high disease pressure, solidifying the need for a fungicide that provides maximum disease control and Plant Health benefits. A late planting date often means the crop will be stressed by a variety of factors, including hotter temperatures during pollination, elevated disease inoculum and a longer window for disease pressure.

The pollination climate for late-planted corn is often hotter and drier than preferred. The high temperatures cause stress on the crop, which compounds the normal strain a crop is put under in the weeks following planting. A stressed crop is less productive and produces less yield. Additionally, late-planted corn often results in a late harvest date, meaning the crops need to stand later than usual. Applying a fungicide like Headline AMP is an important tool for growers looking for increased stalk strength with a wider harvest window.

In such instances, proactive planning and use of Headline AMP fungicide helps corn growers manage risk, which help make the difference between an average growing season and a great one.

Scouting will be central to success

Even in areas where planting dates have not been an issue, such as Nebraska, parts of Illinois and Iowa, growers are being cautioned to keep a close eye on their fields, as damaging weather and disease outbreaks this summer could impact promising yield potential in corn.

As the season progresses, corn is susceptible to more disease pressures, making proactive management strategies and field scouting extremely important. Stressed crops are prone to disease, making fungicide application critical to achieving yield potential.

“Growers need to be on the lookout for disease and stress in their fields throughout the season,” Fassler said. “Plants will be stressed during the reproductive stages due to the hot temperatures, causing potential nutrient deficiency and harvesting vulnerability. Getting ahead of potential disease through early scouting and proactive use of a fungicide like Headline AMP fungicide will help growers curb disease pressures this year.”

A consistent combination

Headline AMP is a combination fungicide specifically developed for corn growers who want maximum protection from foliar diseases, and improved Plant Health. In four years of replicated university and seed company trials from 2007 to 2010, Headline AMP showed consistent yield advantages of more than 10.5 bushels per acre over untreated areas. Headline AMP also provided consistent yield advantages over competitive products, delivering more corn per acre than any other fungicide on the market.

Headline AMP combines the active ingredient in Headline® fungicide with the addition of a unique, best-in-class triazole. The result is a broad-spectrum fungicide that provides excellent disease control, Plant Health benefits and helps maximize yield potential.

Preparing for summer’s extremes

Growers in various parts of the country also have been impacted by extreme weather already this season. In select Midwestern states, growers can prepare for continued rough weather. Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS®) enables growers in eight Midwestern states to reduce their crop insurance premiums when they use Headline fungicide or Headline AMP fungicide from BASF on their corn acres. RCIS, a leader in the crop insurance business, will offer growers in select states a 50 percent discount on 2011 premiums for the Green Snap Plus endorsement on corn acres protected under an RCIS Crop Hail policy. For full information about this program, contact an RCIS insurance agent or visit

For more information on BASF Crop protection products, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the Crop Protection division

With sales of €4.0 billion in 2010, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at or follow us on twitter:

BASF – The Chemical Company

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,400 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.7 billion in 2010. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner, BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at or in the Social Media Newsroom at


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