Arkansas Rice: 12 Tips to Get the Most Benefits from Fungicides

    Integrated disease management is the best approach to keep major rice diseases under control i.e., varietal resistance, best cultural practices and chemical products. Varietal resistance is the best and most user friendly disease control measure. However, host resistance is not always available to all diseases.

    Cultural management strategies are beneficial to reduce some rice diseases. However, at times yield potential may be compromised. Routine fungicide application may be practiced; however, it increases the likelihood of fungicide resistance and is rarely economically feasible. Besides, the available fungicides do not fully suppress/control the most prevalent diseases of rice. Therefore, the integrated approach is inevitable.

    Fungicides work best in well-managed fields and in less susceptible varieties.

    Tips to Benefit the Most from Fungicide Application:

    1. Fungicides applied at recommended timing and rate work best and maximize their benefit.
    2. Well-managed fields benefit better from fungicide application.
    3. Fungicides mixed in adequate volume of water provide better coverage particularly to fungicides applied on foliage.
    4. If tank mixing is required, check for the compatibility of the chemistries.
    5. To target more than one disease that require protective products, combination fungicides (Triazole + Strobi) work better (for instance, kernel smut, false smut and neck blast)
    6. To reduce resistance to fungicides, rotate chemistries with different modes of action.
    7. To cut expenses and also reduce resistance to fungicides, avoid automatic application. Apply fungicides when and where needed (scouting, previous knowledge of field history and variety resistance help to make the right decision).
    8. To reduce fungicide cost, products with different modes of action can be tank mixed by adjusting rates as required.
    9. To get maximum performance from fungicides, higher rates are usually preferred.
    10. Scouting for sheath blight in particular can help determine fungicide rate, timing and necessity.
    11. On assessment of the research from Dr. Rick Cartwright the following information have been extracted. Stratego at 16 oz provided 14-17 days control, whereas the 19 oz for 21-24 days. Quadris at 6.4 oz provided 10-14 days control while 9 oz for about 21 days. But the full rate 12.5 oz provided 28 days of control. Moreover, his research indicated, Azoxystrobin (Quadris) to be somewhat more effective on sheath blight than Trifloxystrobin (GEM)-but the difference was just slight.
    12. To suppress minor leaf and sheath diseases fungicide application may not be warranted. Broad spectrum fungicides such as strobilurins if applied for major diseases such as sheath blight and blast should provide control for minor diseases.

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