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Row Crop Disease Update

kemerait peanuts

With the corn seed already in the ground and cotton/peanut planting time almost here, growers should be considering their disease management strategies for the 2014 crop.  Here are some recent comments from UGA Extension Plant Pathologist Dr. Bob Kemerait on the subject:

The 2014 field season is upon us and diseases, nematodes, and recommendations promise to have a HUGE impact once again for growers.

1.  Weather Conditions:  Abundant rainfall and cooler soil temperatures
early in the season will increase the risk to seedling diseases and stand loss;
especially in cotton.
Growers can reduce the risk to seedling diseases by a) delaying planting until
conditions (warmer soils, less threat of a cold, drenching rain) are more
favorable for rapid germination and vigorous growth and b) use of fungicide
seed treatments to protect the seed and the young seedlings.

2.  Use of foliar fungicides on field corn:  There
are recommendations by some to apply fungicides to corn
at very early growth stages for the benefit of “plant health”.
While I cannot say with 100% certainty that such use of a fungicide will
not increase yield, I prefer to recommend fungicides at later growth stages for control of diseases.

Remember the following:

A.  Corn growers who plant in late March or early April have less risk to
disease than do those who plant in later April and beyond.
B. Growers with increased risk to Northern corn leaf blight (e.g., a more
susceptible corn hybrid) should scout their crop and consider a fungicide
application prior to tasseling; for example between the V8 and V10 stage.
It may be possible to use ground equipment to accomplish this.
NOTE:  DO NOT MIX a surfactant or crop oil with the fungicide when
applied prior to tassel in order to reduce chance for injury to the developing
ear.

3.  Sentinel Plots for Soybeans (www.sbrusa.net)
and Corn (scr.ipmpipe.org)
have
been or are being established across the state for early warning in 2014.
TO DATE NO ASIAN SOYBEAN RUST OR SOUTHERN CORN RUST IS KNOWN IN GEORGIA.

If you have any questions as you are planning your disease management strategies, contact your local extension office for more information.