Summary and Implications
Recently, two fungicides received EPA labels for use in alfalfa production. Through numerous personal communications, we find that producers are eagerly seeking unbiased research based information from Universities to help with their decision making process on the use of this new management tool. University research has been initiated, but at this time results are extremely limited.
Currently, limited research indicates that in general the use of foliar fungicides on alfalfa appears to offer good profitability when used during cooler wetter seasons that are most favorable for leaf disease development. The fungicides appear to offer some consistency in profitability when used in normal seasonal environments, but are not profitable when used during droughty weather conditions. The greatest profitability is likely with fungicide use prior to 1st crop in established stands.
Management details regarding product rate, canopy height at application, sequential applications during the season, and use in new seedings vs. established stands all require additional research. This leaflet provides a starting point, addressing some of these factors. In additional, producers would likely benefit from education regarding proper stewardship of fungicide use in alfalfa production, a responsibility that the private sector appears to be ignoring.
Iowa State University
Lang, Brian J. and Pecinovsky, Kenneth T.
"Preliminary Research Results on the Use of Foliar Fungicides in Alfalfa Production,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 659, ASL R2787.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol659/iss1/38