Row Crop Disease Update Kemerait
The severe weather threat many of us will be under this week has significant implications for our row crop growers, ESPECIALLY our cotton growers. Yes, it is early enough in April that I know most cotton growers in the state have not begun to plant yet. But I am sure there is some that is planted. Dr. Philip Roberts has cotton up and growing in Tifton, likely for a thrips study. The risk to planting cotton too early, especially with the threat of storms we are facing now, has everything to do with seedling diseases caused by fungal pathogens (especially Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium sp.) Cool soils, especially cool and wet soils slow
seed germination and slow growth and development of the cotton seedlings which allows the fungal pathogens, the bad guys, to jump them and take them out. Seedling diseases can and do result in stand losses that take significant yield.
Recommendations to cotton growers:
Do not plant cotton if soil temperatures are not consistently 65F and higher.
Do not plant cotton early in the season if cold rains are expected within the next 5-7 days. Ensure you have a strong seed treatment. If planting into higher risk situations because of soil temperature or other factors, (to include conservation tillage) consider using extra seed treatment or in-furrow product. You don’t want to have to replant.