Favorable conditions for disease
Farmers were no stranger to cool, wet conditions this planting season.
Cold soil conditions and slow plant growth create a longer window of susceptibility for disease to infect your seedlings, and wet soil conditions also increase how fast a disease is able to infect your crop (this is especially important for the water mold family of pathogens like Pythium).
How to identify seedling diseases
The most common corn seedling diseases we encounter are Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Phytophthora. This group, although very diverse, displays similar initial symptoms on young plants, which makes it hard to identify the exact pathogen.
Some of the most common symptoms Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Phytophthora include stunting, discolored or wilted plants, a rooted seed prior to germination or a discolored/rooted mesocotyl (the part that connects the seed to the plant). Symptoms will often occur in low-lying areas or other areas that stay wet for extended periods of time.
Preventing seedling disease
Seed treatments and hybrid selection are the best ways to protect against seedling diseases. But most seed treatments only last 14 to 21 days, so it’s critical that you’re planting in good conditions that will allow the seed to emerge within three weeks. This is key for establishing a healthy stand.
Adding cultural practices that improve drainage or aid seed emergence into your management plan can further reduce incidence and disease severity in the field. For cold soils, row cleaners or tillage may be necessary to reduce or remove stover and allows the soil to warm. Later in the season, as plants mature, they become more resistant against seedling blights, making infection less likely to result in yield loss.
What seed treatment should you use?
To get the full value from your seed investment, it’s critical to protect it with the best seed treatments on the market. Vayantis is a new seed treatment with a new, novel mode of action fighting against Pythium infection. At AgriGold, we’ve added Vayantis as a standard corn treatment on all our new hybrids – because we believe in going above and beyond for your operation.
Let’s talk seed.
Get in touch with your AgriGold rep today to learn more about how to prevent losing yield to seedling diseases.