Fungicide Use in Field Crops: Web Book

Preface: Fungicide Use in Field Crops

Fungicide Use in Field Crops


CPN 4008. Published April 21, 2021. DOI:

Daren Mueller, Iowa State University; Kiersten Wise, University of Kentucky; Carl Bradley, University of Kentucky; Adam Sisson, Iowa State University; Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University; Albert Tenuta, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs; Andrew Friskop, North Dakota State University; Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Travis Faske, University of Arkansas; Edward Sikora, Auburn University; Loren Giesler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Martin Chilvers, Michigan State University.

In 1755, M. M. Tillet discovered the application of lime to plant seed could be used to manage seedborne fungi such as Tilletia tritici, the cause of wheat bunt. Although use of fungicides occurred in field crops as early as the 1600s, Tillet’s discovery started what could be called the fungicide revolution. Scientific knowledge and fungicide use has increased dramatically since that time, and fungicides, along with other pesticides, have become an extremely important crop protection tool. New discoveries continue to refine and improve fungicide products and disease management. However, the prolific and diverse nature of plant pathogens, coupled with the misuse of fungicide products, has led to fungicide-resistant pathogens. This “resistance treadmill,” where new fungicide products eventually decrease in usefulness due to pathogen resistance, is a driver not only for the discovery of new fungicide products, but also educational efforts aimed at preserving the fungicide tools currently available.

The primary goal of this Crop Protection Network publication is to help protect field crops from plant disease through increasing knowledge of fungicides and promoting best practices. Farmers, agronomists, and others must deal with these crop protection issues on a daily basis. Supporting goals include mitigating fungicide resistance, increasing clarity of communication when discussing fungicide-related topics, and integrating fungicide use within the larger, whole-farm management plan.

With these goals in mind, Fungicide Use in Field Crops addresses current fungicide issues by considering the most recent advances in fungicide science while building upon past discovery. The publication will help equip fungicide applicators, educators, agribusiness employees, students, and others with a baseline of information needed to effectively manage diseases of field crops using fungicides. Importantly, it will also help determine when it is best not to apply a fungicide. The authors wish to highlight the importance of fungicides as tools for yield protection, while at the same time considering economics, human health, environmental responsibility, and preservation of fungicide effectiveness.

Use the Table of Contents on this page to navigate between chapters and resources available as part of this text. If tables are not fully visible, adjust browser window size or view settings.

Earn four Certified Crop Advisor CEUs after reading this web book. Successfully complete a quiz for each chapter to earn up to four CEUs total. See the Crop Protection Network CCA CEU page or access quizzes directly for Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4.


The Crop Protection Network is a multi-state and international partnership of university and provincial Extension specialists, and public and private professionals that provides unbiased, research-based information. The editors and authors of this publication are members of the Crop Protection Network, and strive to provide the best regional, national, and international resources to crop protection practitioners. 

This educational resource was made possible by contributions from Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management; the Grain Farmers of Ontario; and the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

© 2021 Crop Protection Network unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

Click the link below to download this publication.

Preface: Fungicide Use in Field Crops