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Night Spraying Fungicides

Farming Smarter Project

Study contact: Ken Coles



The study ran for three crop years from 2013 to 2015 and included a total of 472 small research plots established at four locations each year – Farming Smarter Association (FS) site in Lethbridge, Crop Diversification Centre (CDC) South in Brooks, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Centre in Lacombe and at Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association (SARDA) in Falher, Alberta. The study used four crops, barley, wheat, canola and peas to test results, however, not all at each location. All trials were randomized split-plots with four replicates. Researchers used hand held sprayers equipped with two meter booms, CO2 propellant and low drift nozzles to minimize drift. Fungicide labels informed the spray rates, application timing and other considerations. Nozzles were spaced 50 cm apart and held 50 cm above the canopy. Plot dimensions, number of rows, row spacing etc. were adjusted to accommodate different seeding and spraying equipment.


  1. To evaluate efficacy and crop tolerance of fungicides applied at three distinct times within a 24-hour day.
  2. To understand the linkages between environmental conditions and fungicide efficacy.
  3. To quantify potential yield effects, quality and return on investment resulting from fungicide applications.


Timeline: 2013 – 2016
Collaborators: Farming Smarter; Smokey Applied Research & Demonstration Association; Alberta Crop diversification Centre South; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Locations: Lethbridge, Brooks, Lacombe, Falher

Barley (scald, net blotch): Tilt, Quilt, Bravo

Wheat (tan spot, spot blotch, septoria, stagnospora): Caramba, Prosaro, Bravo

Canola (sclerotinia, black leg): Quadris, Rovral, Vertisan

Peas (Ascochyta, mycosphaerella): Acapela, Headline, Lance

Disease Development for Effective Analysis

Effective measures to encourage sufficient disease pressure in the field allowed for statistical separations of treatments. Preference went to locations with a known history of disease and/or where stubble from the crop of interest is present from the previous year. To initiate and/or encourage disease pressure project technicians used inoculation and/or irrigation throughout the plots if required.

Final Reports

The major conclusions drawn from our study are: 
  1. Severity of fungal diseases remained low for all crops and across all locations during the 3-year
    study period.
  2. Crops yields were not affected by fungicides statistically. By extension, it means that under low
    levels of disease conditions, producers could avoid using fungicides without losing any yield
    potential while saving time, financial resources and the environment.
  3. In general, Twinline, Prosaro, Quadris and Prixor were most effective fungicides for barley, wheat,
    canola and peas, respectively.
  4. For barley, day time was the least effective application timing at all locations.
    • Dawn applications at Brooks were most effective (56% of the instances) for producing higher yields compared to day and night times that both scored at 44%.
    • Night time application was most effective at Lethbridge at (67% of the instances) compared to day and dawn timings (scoring 50% each).
    • Night applications also scored higher yields at Lacombe (83% of the instances) followed by the dawn time (67%) and
      day time (33%).
  5. For wheat, no application timing seemed clearly effective.
  6. For canola, day time application was most frequently effective at Lethbridge and Brooks (78% and
    67%, respectively).

    • This is followed by night and dawn times (day time > night time > dawn time).
    • Dawn time scored better at Falher in 56% of the instances compared to 44 and 33% for
      day and night times.
  7. Dawn time and night time applications were effective for peas.

In general, our study results suggest that fungicides applied during the day, night or dawn time would be similarly effective on barley, wheat and canola, with some advantage of dawn or night time applications for peas. However, because of low disease pressure, the study could not maximize the differences between treatments. Further research might verify these results.

Read/download the final reports

Mike Gretzinger used a headlamp to help him see while spraying the night trials.

Night Spraying Herbicide Report

Night Spraying Fungicide Report




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