As corn is really up and going, and as cotton and peanut planting have been taking place recently, storms with wind and rain may have created greater risks for disease in Worth County fields.
Following are some points from Dr. Bob Kemerait about recent storms (even yesterday) and things growers should be aware of. If there are issues in the field at this time, please contact the Worth County Extension Office at 229-776-8216 or call agents by cell phone.
- Prior to the storm we had very strong, sustained winds. With young crops, the impact of blowing sand could easily have damaged the sand and created wounds which can be entries for disease causing organisms in the future.
- We had blowing rain and, obviously, significant rain-splash from the soil and debris. Both the blowing rain and rain-splash certainly could have redistributed fungal spores and bacteria from last year’s crop debris and deposited them on the young plants. This is an effective way for spread of leaf diseases of corn (northern and southern corn leaf blights, northern corn leaf spot), Ascochyta wet-weather blight and bacterial blight of cotton, and leaf spot diseases of peanut.
- The cold rain slowed germination and growth and development of the plants. Slowing germination and growth gives the “bad guys”, like the fungi Rhizoctonia solani and other fungi, a chance to attack. It is possible (even likely) that there will be more seedling diseases in the fields now.
- Lastly, after such a violent storm, there is likely to be some crusting of soils in the fields, making stand-establishment more of a challenge. Obviously this is not helpful.