Don’t wait…fungigate says Agri-Inject as the crops are rapidly maturing around the country. It is during this time, the company says, that fungal diseases are one of those yield-robbing dangers. However, when they are detected early, timely fungicide applications can protect yields. Agri-Inject says among fungicide application options available to growers, one that can easily be overlooked is fungigation but it may be the best option for growers using irrigation systems.
“Fungigation is an excellent way to deliver fungicide to your crops,” says Erik Tribelhorn, CEO of Agri-Inject, a manufacturer of irrigation injection equipment and software. “One of the greatest advantages is that the farmer is in control. Once the need for fungicide application is determined, treatment can begin almost immediately. You don’t have to wait to get on an applicator’s schedule, for an airplane to become available, or for the weather to clear.”
Tribelhorn explains that there are several benefits. One being that the effectiveness of fungicide application through fungigation has been proven in numerous studies and through more than 40 years of grower experience. He cites a recent study from Washington State University (WSU) that demonstrate the benefits of fungicide application through irrigation systems. The WSU study focused on the management of potato late blight, and the results indicated that the benefits of fungigation don’t end with timeliness.
When compared to both air, explains Tribelhorn, (airplane or helicopter) and ground (booms attached to self-contained or tractor-pulled equipment), fungigation was the least expensive application method and provided the most uniform distribution of fungicide through the leaf canopy. The study also noted that an integrated approach-using both air application and fungigation-can provide effective disease control.
“There were some additional benefits of fungigation-the ability to apply fungicides effectively in moderately windy conditions and to apply near obstacles like trees and powerlines-that were noted in the Washington State study,” adds Tribelhorn. “If you have an irrigation system in place and want the highest level of control over timing, effectiveness and cost, utilizing a system to inject fungicides into irrigation water makes sense. It’s definitely an option to consider.“