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Potential Disease Pressure from Recent Weather Patterns

Today we received an update from Dr. Bob Kemerait about possible disease pressure with the recent weather.  Dr. Kemerait, UGA Cooperative Extension plant pathologist, works with corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, and a variety of other crops.  I am including his comments below for your consideration.




Much of Georgia has experienced extended periods of wet weather over the past couple of days and this will continue through tomorrow (4 May).  


The most likely consequence of early season cooler and wetter weather is increased risk to seedling diseases, such as those caused by Rhizoctonia solani on cotton and peanuts. (A peanut sample with Rhizoctonia seedling disease has already been confirmed by Tatnall County agents).  Seedling disease is more of problem in cooler and wetter soils because the cool weather slows the vigor of seed germination and seedling growth and the moisture is favorable for growth of fungal pathogens.


What to watch for:


Cooler and wetter soils at this time of year favor seedling diseases caused by Rhozctonia and Pythium on cotton and Rhizoctonia on peanuts.  Under such conditions, the potential for seedling disease is likely greater in conservation/reduced tillage than in conventional tillage. 


Cooler and wetter soils at this time of year favors development of CBR on peanuts and, if cooler conditions continue, reduces early-season risk on peanuts to white mold.


 Options to consider:


To reduce seedling diseases, growers should wait for warmer soils if possible, plant high quality seed and, for cotton, consider using additional fungicide seed treatments like Trilex and Dynasty.  Growers may also wish to consider using in-furrow fungicides, e.g., Abound on peanut, if risk to seedling disease remains high.


To reduce risk to CBR on peanuts, growers should consider fumigating with Vapam/metam sodium or applying Proline, 5.7 fl oz/A in-furrow.”