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The Correlation (Or Lack Of) Between Soil Health And Fungicide Use



During a field day, a farmer asked Ken Ferrie, “Can a soil test help determine the need for a fungicide application, and does healthy soil correlate with less need for fungicide?”


To find answers to these questions, start with understanding the disease triangle, says Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist. You must have the disease present, a host (crop) and the right conditions to trigger a disease outbreak. Soil health falls under the area of conditions, and soil tests can help identify susceptible conditions.


Soil tests do not detect the presence of disease or tell you disease is present in the field, Ferrie says. Fields with good soil health can have as much disease present as an unhealthy field. Simply, healthy soils do not prevent disease from moving into a field.




By RHONDA BROOKS

November 7, 2022

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