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Row Crop Disease Update

Young cotton seedlings wilting and dying soon after emergence with a tell-tale lesion girdling the stem just below the soil line are classic for Rhizoctonia soreshin.  While there may be other causes for seedling death, the lesion just below the soil line and, sometimes, barely visible fungal “threads” in association with the lesion are strong indications of Soreshin disease.  If you need help with what you have in the field, do not hesitate to contact me.

 

For cotton already planted, there is nothing to be done other than consider replanting if stand loss is severe. 

Corn:  Some of our earliest planted corn is approaching the tassel growth stage.  It is likely to find spots from herbicide drift in the corn.  The world is not ending.  At least not yet.  You may also find Northern corn leaf SPOT and COMMON rust in the older, lower leaves.  Again, the world is not ending.  Yet.  But you should also be on the look-out for Northern Corn Leaf Blight (lesions shaped and about the size of a Swisher Sweet).  A few lesions scattered throughout the field give us a chance for some “eye candy” pictures, but no need for a fungicide.  A lot of Northern Corn Leaf Blight lesions on a susceptible variety on lower leaves COULD necessitate a fungicide application.

It’s going to be cooler and wetter over the next couple of days which could slow germination and growth of young seedlings and affect vigor.  Cooler and wetter may mean ice and freezing rain in the black-weather-hole that is Putnam County and the stomping ground of Keith Fielder. 

Should a grower hold-off planting for a couple days?  It wouldn’t hurt from disease and nematode standpoints.  Rapid germination and vigorous growth and development help a crop escape some seedling disease.