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Agronomist says conditions just right for phytophthora

An agronomist says Illinois soybean farmers need to be on the lookout for one disease, in particular, this summer.

Bob Lawless is with Golden Harvest he says farmers need to look for phytophthora.  “We’re seeing a lot more of phytophthora at the stem and root phase,” he says.  “The stem and root rot phase – we probably have it as bad now in some areas as we’ve seen in a decade.”  He tells Brownfield the most problematic spots in the field are right outside of areas that have been drowned out.

Lawless says the corn crop is off to a rapid start and farmers need to watch for uniformity in the stand.  He says if part of the crop is developmentally behind, it could create issues at pollination.  “You have 10 percent or so of the plants that have fresh green silk – you attract all the silk clippers,” he says.  “Corn rootworm beetles, Japanese beetles from the rest of the field all congregate on that last 10 percent and then they tend to not get pollinated well.”

Lawless says that will mean scouting multiple times during the growing season to keep insect damage at a minimum.

Golden Harvest has 36 different Agronomy in Action sites across the Corn Belt and provides corn and soybean growers a closer look at how different hybrids perform in different soils and environments. 

AUDIO: Bob Lawless, Golden Harvest

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