With most of the country experiencing the warm temperatures of spring, it’s obvious that planting is already upon us. This means it’s time to consider the threats that young soybean plants may face early in the season. Phytophthora root rot, an old and common pest, can infect a soybean plant at nearly any growth stage from seedling to maturity. Let’s take a look at what it is, how to spot it and what you can do to prevent it.
What it is:
Phytophthora root rot is a water mold, so diseases caused by these fungi are most common on soils that are poorly drained or receive excessive irrigation. While the fungus can survive on crop debris in the soil, it can also survive for long periods of time, even without the presence of soybean plant material.
How to spot it:
Look for seedlings with poor stand, as stand reduction is often a symptom of early-season Phytophthora. Research from the Iowa State University Extension helps explain why this occurs.
Above ground, keep an eye out for wilting leaves, which often turn gray then yellow.
How to prevent it:
According to plant pathologist, XB Yang, Ph.D., at Iowa State University, to decrease seedling damping off, it is necessary to reduce compaction and improve drainage. Yang also recommends the use of resistant varieties as the most effective way to control the disease.
If Phytophthora is a disease you’re tired of dealing with, NK® brand soybeans combined with CruiserMaxx® Beans insecticide/fungicide seed treatment offer a one-two punch of protection from damaging insects and diseases.
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