Wet spring calls for phytophthora management

Photo courtesy of Illinois Soybean Association

An Illinois agronomist says warming, saturated soil means farmers should manage fields for phytophthora.

“We see a lot of diseases, especially in soybeans, that are associated with cool, wet soil conditions.”

Samantha Schmidgall with GROWMARK-FS in east central Illinois says phytophthora is a fungus that can terminate seedlings, decrease population and lead to replants.

“The biggest impact on the crop is actually that late season development of the disease because we don’t have the opportunity to increase our population at that point or increase our yield potential.”

She says farmers should choose a seed variety with good field tolerance and a gene trait for phytophthora resistance. The proper seed treatment is also important.

“Just because you are putting a fungicide or a fungicide insecticide on your soybeans doesn’t necessarily mean that you are attacking the diseases you are focusing on. So, make sure the fungicide you are using is truly targeting phytophthora.”

Schmidgall says management should be focused on fields with poor drainage or a history of the disease.

Interview with Samantha Schmidgall

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