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Abstract

Fungal diseases are the number one reason for crops losses around the world and have a significant impact on yield and quality. Previous studies suggest that up to 42% yield loss caused by fungal diseases can be prevented by applying foliar fungicides to winter wheat. Contemporaneous research on wheat cultivars and foliar fungicides is essential to find solutions to the instability of farm incomes from the various economic, environmental, and biological factors. Local wheat production data on fungicide application, yield, and disease severity for four soft-red winter wheat cultivars (Magnolia, Terral LA 841, Pioneer 25R47, Coker 9553) for two years (2011 and 2012) and three locations in Northeast Texas (Royce City, Howe, and Leonard) was used to study the economics of one foliar fungicide (tebuconazole). The fungicide was applied as a preventive measure, and it found positive (average) net returns during both years. The profitability analysis found that 66% of the observations resulted in positive net returns from fungicide applications during the two years of study. A sensitivity analysis showed that most of the cultivars considered have the potential to produce a yield gain that would break even the cost of fungicide application.

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