Night spraying peanut fungicides II. Application timings and spray deposition in the lower canopy.
Chemical control of soilborne peanut (Arachis hypogaea) diseases requires deposition of fungicide on plant tissues near the soil. Four applications of a protectant fungicide, chlorothalonil (1.26 kg a.i./ha), or a systemic, azoxystrobin (0.21 kg a.i./ha), pyraclostrobin (0.21 kg a.i./ha), or prothioconazole (0.08 kg a.i./ha) plus tebuconazole (0.15 kg a.i./ha), were sprayed either (i) early in the morning (3:00 to 5:00 A.M., with folded and wet leaves), (ii) during daylight (10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., with unfolded and dry leaves), or (iii) in the evening (9:00 to 10:00 P.M., with folded and dry leaves). All timings of systemic fungicides provided similar control of foliar diseases. Early-morning applications of pyraclostrobin and prothioconazole plus tebuconazole decreased stem rot (caused by Sclerotium rolfsii) at digging compared with day and evening applications. All systemic fungicides increased yield when applied at early-morning compared with day applications. Spray coverage, density, and droplet size were higher with night than day applications, and differences were more evident in the lower canopy layers. These results suggest that applications made early in the morning to folded, wet leaves can improve spray penetration of peanut canopies, thus improving stem rot control and increasing yield.