A season-long fungicide program can provide the strong foundation your peanut crop needs to reach its maximum yield potential.
In 2018, peanut grower Joey Flake experienced heavy white mold, rhizoctonia and leaf spot disease pressure on his Georgia farm. Luckily, he had a season-long fungicide program in place, and his irrigated fields treated with DuPont™ Fontelis® fungicide remained relatively disease-free.
“The Fontelis was 95 percent effective, even under our extreme pressure. It’s an excellent product for white mold, rhizoctonia and foliar diseases such as leaf spot,” Flake says. “At first, we doubted our program efficacy because of the level of disease pressure we experienced. We didn’t know how much white mold we had until we started plowing up. What I do know is that where we had Fontelis, we didn’t have underground white mold.”
Flake’s disease prevention program begins with a 9 oz./A application of Priaxor fungicide at 40 days after planting. Three weeks later, his Fontelis® fungicide program begins with a 16 oz./A treatment, followed 14 days later with Fontelis again at the same rate.
After another 14 days, a third application of Fontelis is applied to his peanut acreage, followed by a treatment of Convoy fungicide to clean up any potential breakthroughs. Alternatively, some of his acreage receives another Fontelis application prior to harvest.
“With Fontelis, I feel like I’ve laid a good foundation,” Flake says. “You’ll never build a good, solid building on a sloppy foundation.”
Flake says Fontelis serves as the base of his disease prevention program, with other fungicides rotated in to improve the long-term efficacy of the program and minimize resistance development. “We want to maintain plant health throughout the season, while also continuing disease coverage until harvest and covering any delays in harvest caused by weather or maturity issues,” he says.
In years with extremely wet late-season conditions and harvest delays — like 2015 — Flake says they can find themselves harvesting in the mud 180 days after planting.
“That’s when the extra protection provided by that last fungicide application pays dividends,” he says. “Under those conditions, we have had superior yields when others were struggling. With Fontelis, our plants were healthy and able to last through that delay without losing yield potential.”
Flake’s production system includes a three-year rotation — cotton to corn to peanuts, and then back to cotton.
“Peanuts love a rotation. It stretches out soil use and reduces disease incidence,” he says. “A peanut rotation also decreases root knot nematodes by interrupting that cycle.”
For more information, visit Corteva Agriscience.