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Can Headline Fungicide Improve Dry Bean Health
June 19, 2006

Does pyraclostrobin offer improved plant health benefits that go beyond disease control? BASF, maker of the pyraclostrobin fungicide Headline® believes so  in fact, the company has gone so far as to trademark the phrase Plant Health in Headline product literature.

Heres what BASF product literature ( has to say about the effect of Headline on soybean plant health:  During bloom, R1 to R3 stage, requirements for carbon and nitrogen are significantly higher causing reproductive stress. Should these elements not be in adequate supply, the plants reproductive cycle can be limited, ultimately compromising quality and yield. The active ingredient in Headline fungicide (F500) actually improves the metabolic efficiency of the plant, increasing the available reserves of carbon and nitrogen needed to counter stress, while sustaining reproductive energy for maximum quality and yield.

Company officials say several years of BASF research has resulted in data which indicates that Headline has a positive effect on plant health and yield in a number of crops on which the product is labeled, including dry beans (see data from trials in 2004 and 2005).  BASF research on the affect of Headline on plant health continues this summer.

North Dakota State University extension plant pathologist Carl Bradley agrees that there seems to be some sort of positive plant physiological effect, although more needs to be known about this link  does it occur in the absence of disease pressure? Is it affected by other variables, such as weather and moisture conditions? Do other strobilurin products (such as Quadris┬«) have a similar affect?  Do certain crops or varieties respond more than others?  Indeed, even BASF research indicates a variable yield effect.

Bradley does not advise applying Headline or any other strobilurin fungicide for the sole purpose of attempting to improve plant health  the intention of the product is to prevent disease.  He advises growers interested in evaluating the effect of Headline on dry bean plant health to conduct side-by-side, treated versus non-treated comparisons.

Northarvest Bean Grower magazine is interested in hearing from bean growers who might have observations this summer on this issue.  Take a digital photo or two if you can, and jot a few notes down about application timing, rate, and plant stage.  Email us at  well do a follow-up feature in a future issue.


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