Current trends in agronomic field crop production (corn and soybean) have been towards the use of foliar fungicides to promote “plant health” and increase yield in the absence of disease. Trials to examine this trend have been conducted across the upper Midwest and have resulted in very inconsistent results. Headline (pyraclostrobin, BASF, Research Triangle Park, NC) was approved for use in alfalfa beginning in 2011. We received numerous questions from growers and university researchers regarding the benefits of foliar fungicide use in alfalfa grown for forage. Many of these questions were focused on the use of a fungicide in a tank-mix with an insecticide, with the intent of providing a positive synergistic yield response. Thus, the objective of this study was to conduct field research trials in Wisconsin and Minnesota to examine the benefit of using a foliar fungicide, alone or in combination with foliar insecticide on alfalfa.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison