A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

Just a few “heads ups” this morning on what I am seeing or hearing about in the the fields now.

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The picture above was sent to me by Dr. Jared Whitaker and later he brough samples to Jason Brock in Tifton.  Young 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. For cotton already planted, there is nothing to be done other than consider replanting if stand loss is severe.  (Hopefully it is not as replanting is a last resort. 

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Eric Prostko

Corn:  Some of our earliest planted corn is approaching the tassel growth stage.  Growers are likely to find spots from herbicide drift in the corn like in the picture above.  Reassure them that the world is not ending.  At least not yet.  The growers 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 concern but not necessarily a need for a fungicide.  However, a lot of Northern Corn Leaf Blight lesions on a susceptible variety on lower leaves COULD necessitate a fungicide application.

A few other words for thought:

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. Should growers consider holding off from 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.