MU research shows fungicides in soybean at R3 boost yield, reduce disease

Soybean strip trial
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Three years of research in the “MU Certified” Strip Trial Program shows that applying fungicides to soybean at the R3 growth stage reduces foliar disease and increases yield.

University of Missouri Extension plant pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette said the results come from 33 tests across the state from 2018 to 2020. Trials show that fungicide application increased yield by 1.5 bushels per acre, with a 90% probability that the mean response across all locations was 1.2 to 2.2 bushels per acre.

The trial looked at fungicide-treated and untreated soybean. Farmers could choose which fungicide to apply at the R3 growth stage. Farmers control all other management decisions, said MU Extension nutrient management specialist John Lory, who leads the strip trial program with Bissonnette.

Soybean in strips treated with fungicide showed less Septoria and frogeye leaf spot said Bissonnette.

Find the complete results at

The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and MU Extension supported this on-farm research with cooperation from Missouri soybean farmers and MU Extension faculty. Other partners in the strip trial program include the Missouri Fertilizer Board and the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council.

In addition to continuing R3 fungicide trials, 2021 strip trials focus on cover crop management in corn-soybean rotations, fertilizer management in corn, soybean, wheat, and forages, and a soybean seed treatment.

The program uses on-farm research to help farmers improve profits and maintain the environment, said Lory. Local extension faculty work with farmers to layout trials that work with the farmers’ equipment and provide guidance throughout the trial. Farmers replicate trials at least four times on eight to 12 strips.

If interested, contact your local MU Extension agronomist or agricultural engineer, or email [email protected].

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