Drought bringing early soybean diseases

A plant pathologist with the University of Missouri Extension says a few soil-borne soybean diseases are being confirmed.

Mandy Bish tells Brownfield charcoal rot is showing up early in Missouri because of the drought. She says fungicides aren’t an option to manage the disease and farmers should use the drought as a chance to learn.

“To see where we have those problems. With charcoal rot and other soil-borne diseases, this drought is really showing where there may be problems. When we have healthy looking soybeans, we may not know there’s a problem.”

Bish says another soybean disease, cercospora leaf blight, is also being confirmed earlier than normal, but fungicides are an option for disease management. The pathogen for the disease lives in infected soybean seeds and on plant residue, favoring warm temperatures and high humidity.

Bish says farmers should use the University of Missouri’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic as a resource to confirm these diseases.   

Photo credit: Charcoal rot in soybeans taken by Dr. Peng Tian in the MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic.

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