Agronomy Talk

Agronomy Update

Ohio Fields Showing Signs of Phytophthora Root Rot

Published on Thursday, June 30, 2016

Over the last few days, many farmers in Ohio and eastern Indiana have noticed some patches or large areas that appear to be wilting, turning yellow or brown, and dying. Below are just a few photos of the symptoms we are seeing.


All of these symptoms are being found in areas of Ohio and eastern Indiana where large amounts of rain occurred over a short period of time. The map below highlights where these areas can be found (the tan, orange, and red spots).

The plants are dying from Phytophthora root rot, which is a fungus that infects plants under saturated conditions. Some varieties may show more symptoms than others based on the race specific gene and the field tolerance of the variety, but no variety is resistant. We have noticed that the vast majority of damage is showing up in low lying areas and areas that are not compacted.

Compacted areas of the field are showing little symptomology. This is probably due to the water infiltration being better in the non-compacted areas, which is causing a saturated root zone. In compacted areas (i.e. wheel tracks) however, the water ran off.

In my experience, plants showing symptoms like those in the pictures above will not recover and these sections will need to be replanted. 
Rarely is an entire field affected, so it should not be necessary to replant the entire field! I have noticed little damage in the higher spots of fields. If the lower leaves and the growing point look green and healthy then the plant was not impacted and should turn out to be normal.

Please reach out to your local agronomist, seed advisor or Beck's dealer if you have concerns about Phytophthora root rot in your fields.

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Mark Apelt

Mark Apelt

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