September 2021


Plant Health at Harvest

Image of heat map

There’s plant health, then there’s Plant Health.

Above and beyond disease control, BASF Plant Health fungicides provide benefits to protect yield from the unpredictability of Mother Nature.

Environmental conditions like drought, hail, heat, frost and excess moisture put pressure on plants. These stresses divert energy from photosynthesis, causing the plants to go into survival mode instead of production mode. BASF Plant Health fungicides help mitigate stress, optimize growth efficiency and boost plant productivity throughout the growing season. This increased performance is a result of a number of factors:

Ethylene is a plant hormone that stimulates senescence and causes the plant shut down. This occurs in a mature plant at the end of its growth cycle or prematurely in response to stress. By suppressing ethylene, the plant can keep growing through heat and drought and stay green longer in the season, extending time for photosynthesis and grain fill.

In the heat of the summer, it’s particularly important that stomata can open and close. Like opening the windows to let a cool breeze in or our body sweating in response to heat, open stomates allows the plant to “sweat,” keeping the canopy temperature lower and allowing the plant to stay alive longer. Leaves won’t roll up as quickly, a clear sign of plant stress, and stay green longer.

Measure the difference
So how do you know if these benefits are working in the field and delivering the expected return on investment?

At harvest, evaluate how acres treated with BASF Plant Health fungicides compare to an untreated check or nearby fields. Also consider the field history and features, including soil type, disease pressure and other crop protection inputs used.

If you have RGB, infrared or NDVI imagery, compare dates of application and timing of the imagery. Did the canopy temperature or imagery show a visible response?

Look at both qualitative and quantitative data.

  1. Qualitative: Did the crop stay green and continue growing longer, resulting in extended grain fill?
  2. Quantitative: How does the yield bu/A compare between treated and untreated acres?

A Plant Health fungicide response may or may not be visible to the naked eye. But it will be visible where it counts most — your customers’ yield monitor.