Published on Friday, May 17, 2019
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Any disease requires three things to flourish: a viable host, suitable environmental conditions, and the presence of a pathogen. When we attempt to manage a disease, we must manage one of these three factors in order to be successful.
Step 1: Identify the disease by answering a few questions:
Common Seedling Diseases:
PYTHIUM ROOT ROT (PYTHIUM SPP.)
A common disease throughout the Corn Belt, Pythium, like Phytopthora, is a “water mold” that survives in the soil, but it requires saturation in order to release disease-causing spores. It affects both corn and soybeans with similar symptoms but is a concern mostly for soybeans.
RHIZOCTONIA ROOT ROT (RHIZOCTONIA SOLANI)
This disease is caused by a fungus that survives on plant residue. Rhizoctonia is a wide-spread fungus that is present in many fields across the U.S. The presence of this fungus does not always cause yield loss, but the disease can compound existing stress from injury or nematode feeding. It affects both corn and soybeans.
PHYTOPHTHORA ROOT AND STEM ROT (PHYTOPHTHORA SOJAE)
Phytopthora is a major yield-impacting disease for soybeans grown throughout the U.S. It’s comparable to the other common seedling diseases combined. Much like Pythium, Phytopthora also requires free water to spread and is found in similar situations to Pythium. It can survive in the soil for many years. Phytopthroa affects soybeans.
FUSARIUM (F. SOLANI AND F. OXYSPORUM)
These fusarium species survive for long periods of time on crop residue and in the soil. It affects both corn and soybeans.
Step 2: Disease Management
Cultural Methods: The majority of all seedling diseases affect plants when they are already undergoing stress, commonly from low soil temperatures and compacted poorly-drained soils. These diseases survive in the soil for long periods of time.
Seed Treatments: Seed treatments provide chemical control of pathogens in the soil. Escalate® yield enhancement system provides protection from each seedling disease described here. For a full list of diseases and insects controlled, visit BecksHybrids.com/Products/Seed-Treatments.
Genetic Methods: Host resistance is a big part of fighting seedling diseases. Most of Beck’s seed lineup has resistance (either partial or race-specific resistance options) to help fight against many of the pathogens discussed above. If you’ve noted seedling diseases as a problem in the past, check Beck’s product guide, meet with your dealer, or call a seed advisor for advice on the best seed selection for your fields to combat the issues at hand.
2. 2017 Beck’s Agronomy Update from Chad Kalaher: https://youtu.be/I0rXZd32xVw
Author: Alex Long
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Tags: Pythium, Phytophthora, seed, fusarium, seedling disease, disease management, root rot, stem rot