Satellite photo overlooking fields with various clouds. Satellite photo overlooking fields with various clouds. Satellite photo overlooking fields with various clouds.

Spraying Fungicide Where it Counts

July 6, 2022

The future of fungicide success has arrived.

With more farmers adopting FieldView and taking advantage of its fungicide scripting feature, we’re seeing some big gains in efficiency and performance across Canada.

“The rate of adoption has been very strong. It has been excellent to see the payoff that fungicide scripting with FieldView is generating for more and more farmers every year,” says Christina Prelaz, FieldView Field Production Specialist. “Utilizing this tool, the right way can add a lot of value to any farming operation.”

FieldView’s crop protection scripting tool allows you to create variable-rate or on/off scripts for any zone in your field – including options to create scripts for herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and growth regulators. The fungicide scripts option has been among the most popular tools due to the value farmers are seeing from precision application of this yield saving input.

Christina knows the benefits first-hand as she is a farmer herself and has experience working with many farmers on FieldView applications over the past two years. From southwestern Ontario, she grew up on a family cash crop and vegetable farm that she is still involved with today. After earning her BSc. in Biological Science she has worked with FieldView helping farmers identify and capture value from a variety of applications with this leading digital farming platform. Her role also involves communicating with the public on how the evolution of digital farming is supporting more efficient and sustainable agriculture.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of the new digital age in farming,” she says. “There is a lot of good news this brings from the farm level all the way to the consumer, I really enjoy being a part of both supporting this progress and communicating the good things farmers are doing.

Among famers, there can be a broad range of different mindsets and comfort levels about digital farming, including making use of advanced tools like fungicide scripting, she notes. But in her experience the more farmers try the new options, the more they stick with them. “It’s all about the value farmers see when they try new things. To see so many not only try scripting but then sticking with it is probably the best endorsement that this approach works.”

The concept makes a lot of sense, she observes. “Every field has variability. Sometimes when we think of variability, we just think of maybe a rolling field or different soil types that are obvious to the grower that's farmed it for many years. But there's also variability within the season and within the soil at a more detailed level which we can’t see but can measure, analyze and factor in with a system like FieldView.”

Dialing in with fungicide scripts

Building custom fungicide scripts tailored to your field’s variability shows you exactly where to apply to avoid a costly fungicide shortfall and to maximize crop performance for a strong return on investment, she explains.

“Whichever level of scripting you choose is going to help you bring your crop to its highest potential,” says Prelaz. “The more detailed and custom you get with it, the advantages are going to be that much greater. With both approaches you get into creating zones that allow you to shift from managing your operation field by field to actually managing every unique zone within that field. It’s a simple equation where the more customized you get within each field, the more efficient and effective your fungicide application is going to be.”

The advantages keep growing as FieldView evolves, she notes. For example, a newer feature of the platform is the auto-zone enhancement. “This enhancement allows you to take a field health image, which is a measure of biomass in the field, and from that FieldView will generate management zones for you automatically. You still have the opportunity to fine-tune the zones as needed, but it’s pretty remarkable how well it works to make the scripting tool that much better. It gives you a great starting place and it’s a big time-saver with most growers doing this in 5 or 10 minutes.”

Screenshot of the auto-zone enhancement feature on FieldView scripting tool Screenshot of the zone creation within FieldView

This success in the field also translates to success for agriculture as a whole, in making sustainability gains that support the public image and social license of the industry, she says. “With fungicide scripting, you’re applying the product where it needs to be applied – no more and no less – rather than having just one blanket approach across the field. This precision approach where we only use what we need really resonates with the public and is very important as we move forward in agriculture.”

Christina regularly sees success stories that reinforce this value. In one recent example with soybeans, a grower with a field prone to white mold was able to create fungicide field scripts, using the auto zone enhancement to the manual scripting tool, to effectively protect his crop with far less use of product, due to being able to target only the key, at risk zones within each field. In another recent example, with canola, a grower worked with his agronomist to conduct an on-farm field trial comparing the results of spraying 4 zones and not spraying one zone. The results allowed the grower to clearly identify the best approach for each zone for an overall optimized spraying strategy.

Screenshot of a canola script within FieldView

“Both of these examples show the real payoff that is on the table if you use fungicide scripting,” says Prelaz. “Not only do you get great results, you also put money back in your pocket by not over-using product. This then gets multiplied with better results at harvest bringing more profits.”

Check out this Fungicide Trials and Crop Protection Tools Webinar for top tips to get the best results for your farm.