The wheat crop in North Carolina and Virginia will likely end up being one of the best on record, certainly it will be one of the top yielding crops in recent years. Hardy says his wheat crop was really outstanding.

He planted Pioneer 26R12 and USG 3665 wheat. When his entire wheat crop is cut, he will likely average over 80 bushels per acre and some fields will easily top 100 bushels per acre. How much of that yield is due to fungicides, he says, isn’t certain, but he is convinced using them helped.

In a 10-year test conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech, using both triazole and strobilurin fungicides separately and together from 2000 to 2010 showed a consistent yield advantage for fungicide-treated versus check wheat plots. 

Virginia Tech Researcher and Plant Pathologist Pat Phipps says over the 10 year period, on multiple sites across the state, they averaged 12 bushels per acre more on fungicide-treated fields. Last year’s drought kept yield increases around 5 bushels per acre, but in some years 20 bushel or more increases were recorded.

The North Carolina grower says he became a believer in using fungicides on soybeans when he used Quadris on part of a 100 acre field. “I forgot about us using it, and when we started combining that field, the machine I was driving had a yield monitor.

“I was picking across the field and had sprayed the fungicide in a strip running lengthwise down the field. Every time I crossed one of those treated strips in the field, the yield monitor would jump.

“Sometimes the yield bump would be 15 bushels an acre and other times only five bushels per acre. In this field of soybeans the yield increase varied, but there was always some increase versus the parts of the field in which we didn’t spray the fungicide,” Hardy says.

“I’m not a big believer in the accuracy of yield monitors, so I can’t say for certain we got 15 bushels per acre more soybeans — that’s what the yield monitor showed. However, I am very sure the treated parts of that field produced more soybeans than the untreated parts,” he adds.

Two years ago he started working with Illinois-based TeeJet Technologies, a company  that manufactures nozzles for sprayers. He had recently added GPS and AutoSteer to his new SpraCoupe. Hardy was looking for more accurate and uniform spray application across the 80-foot spray boom on the sprayer he uses extensively for custom application.