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Decision Time for Wheat Fungicide Applications

Over the past few days we have evaluated several local wheat fields for fungicide application. At this point in the season, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering a foliar fungicide application.

First, what is the growth stage of your wheat crop? Per the 2014 Wheat Production Guide –

“Generally the most effective time for fungicide application is at flag leaf emergence. Applications through heading may be beneficial, particularly for control of Stagonospora glume blotch. Refer to the fungicide label for timing of application.”

Although most Dooly County wheat is past flag leaf emergence, fungicide applications may still be beneficial. Pay close attention to the label for any pre-harvest interval restrictions.

Second, which fungicide should I use?

It’s always good to use two chemistries rather than one. For more effective and longer lasting protection a mix of a triazole and strobirulin is suggested. Remember, when rust has become established in a field, triazole fungicides tend to work the best. For a categorized list of recommended fungicides, refer to the Wheat Foliar Disease Update.

Third, and probably most important to you. Is it economically practical to apply a fungicide?

One of the best tools we have for determining the economic benefit of a fungicide application on wheat is the Wheat Foliar Fungicide Point System.(click on image to view)

Wheat Foliar Fungicide System


Using the point system, assign a numerical value to each category, then add them together to get your point total. If a zero is indicated in any category, then it probably will not be profitable to spray.

Total Points                    Chances of Economic Return

575+                               Good

425-574                          Fair

Below 425                        Poor

While the point system should only be used as a guide, and does not guarantee an economic return, it should be considered as a very beneficial tool when making an application decision.

If you have any questions about fungicide selection and application for wheat, please contact the Dooly County Extension office.