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Row Crop Disease Update July 5th – Kemerait

Environmental conditions that are warm and humid like these coupled with crop development are driving our disease situation hard now.

White mold:  see attached pictures from Jeremy in Colquitt County and Cale in Grady County. Note the thin, wispy development of the white mold pathogen Sclerotium rolfsii at the crown of the plants and on defoliated peanut leaves.  The “white mold match” is struck and smoldering in these fields and fungicides are needed to slow the development of the disease. Hot days, warm nights, and high humidity are PERFECT for white mold. Not the time to be timid with disease management.

Leaf spot on peanut- under very hot and dry conditions, peanut leaf spot diseases are less of a threat. Growers may be able to delay fungicide applications by a few days in extreme heat and dry weather, but should be prepared to pick 14 day schedule back up when rain returns.

Tomato spotted wilt-  it’s bad, really bad in some fields. There is nothing to do now. Everything that coulda shoulda been done was determined before the furrow was closed.  Now is the time for “lesson learned” and “I won’t make that mistake again.”

Cotton- first week of bloom is time to start looking for target spot. With this dry weather, I am hoping it will be less common this year.  But wherever good growth and yield potential occur, target spot could easily follow. Timely fungicide applications can protect yield.

Corn-  looking now in Piedmont for southern corn rust. I have no doubt it is there now. Let’s find it.  You may also find charcoal rot in the corn as well.  Split the lower stalk and look for microsclerotia (black pepper grains) in the pith.

More soon.  Remember that effective disease management often Requires timely, early fungicide applications. Difficult to contain a plant disease once it escapes.