Battling Excessive Advertising Claims with Research-Based Information

Name and Position/Title:
Brian Lang, Field Agronomist

Fiscal Year Submitted:

POW Title and Number:
100 Corn and Soybean Production

Battling Excessive Advertising Claims with Research-Based Information

Farmers are bombarded with advertising at many levels.  One product with a steady dose of advertising over the last few years is foliar fungicides for use in corn and soybean production.  Farmers need help to sort out realistic claims and expectations to improve their bottom-line compared to marketing claims designed to boost product sales.

In just the last few years, the ISU Northeast Research Farm near Nashua conducted over 300 foliar fungicide comparisons on corn and soybeans.  These are randomized and replicated trials designed to provide unbiased and statistically measured responses to give the farmers the most reliable information possible for their management decisions. 

The results of these trials were presented in meetings and used in web-based resources by the ISU Extension Agronomist in northeast Iowa reaching over 3,000 farmers within the last year.

The results of the +300 foliar fungicide comparisons indicate that a foliar fungicide application resulted in an average yield increase of 3.1 bushel in corn and 1.3 bushel in soybeans.  The probability of an economical positive response in these trials, comparisons which gave a yield response above foliar fungicide cost, was 28% in corn and 32% in soybeans.  Company literature and advertising often imply a 12 to 15 bushel yield response in corn and a 5 to 8 bushel yield response in soybeans, which encourages prophylactic applications of fungicide rather than evaluating fields on probability of economic benefit to fungicide use. 

Providing the results gave producers a more realistic perspective on what to expect from foliar fungicide use.  Surveys from producers attending Extension programs receiving this information showed intentions of 43% fewer acres in the coming season to receive foliar fungicides, and 72% of the farmers to increase scouting to better determine where and when they may benefit from fungicide use


100 Corn and Soybean Production

Page last updated: April 6, 2010
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