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Rainfall May Drive Some Diseases

By Sam Markell
Extension Plant Pathologist, Broad-leaf Crops
We have had many questions about a variety of diseases this year.  Some of the diseases are economically important but some are not.  Some of the diseases are manageable with fungicides, but some are not.  But most of the diseases we have been hearing about have one thing in common; they need rainfall to develop.
Because many factors influence which diseases can occur in a field (crop rotation, disease history, variety resistance, etc...), I don’t think it is particularly helpful to list the diseases we have been hearing about.  However, I do think that it is very important to growers to be aware that disease threats exists, and that scouting for diseases is important.
Scouting for disease is the only reliable way to identify threats to the crop.  In some cases, you may still have time (and tools) to manage a disease you might find; rusts in dry beans and sunflower come to mind.  In other cases, identification of a disease this year will help you make better management decisions for the next year; for example, selecting a resistant variety, lengthening crop rotation intervals, etc.

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