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Angie Peltier

Angie Peltier
Former Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture

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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.
Figure. Emergence problems in soybean (May 24, 2012).
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Scouting fields for seed and seedling disease

In my travels between Knox and Warren Counties on Hwy 164, I have noticed several fields with bare or sparsely populated areas of ground (Figure). These patches coincided with areas that pooled water and remained wet after the rains earlier in the month. Emergence problems and seedling disease can be caused by fungi (Rhizoctonia, Fusarium) or fungal-like organisms (Pythium).

Knowing what ails your seeds/seedlings can help you in making future management decisions:

The University of Illinois Plant Clinic can isolate and identify the pathogens that may be responsible for your seed or seedling diseases. This will help you make decisions about which seed treatments may be warranted for problem fields in future growing years.

Cool, wet soil conditions tend to favor seed/seedling disease. If you anticipate large rains and have fields that don't tend to drain as well and/or you practice conservation tillage, you might decide to delay planting.

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