Soybean seedling diseases

A seed treatment is designed to protect seeds/seedlings for approximately three weeks after planting. It depends a little on disease and certainly depends on product, but if we get conditions conducive to disease on a susceptible variety after that time, emergence and stand issues could rear their ugly head. As soybeans emerge, it’s a great time to take a closer look to see what – if any – effect soybean diseases may have had on stands.

Differentiating between diseases is difficult. Pythium and Phytophthora prefer poorly drained and compacted no-till soils as well as early planting followed by cold stress (or any other plant stress for that matter) and periods of heavy rainfall. Rhizoctonia is often found when we see delayed emergence in moist (but not necessarily saturated) soils or in situations where herbicide injury is an issue. Warm, wet soils in late May and June can contribute as well.

Scout now and consider submitting suspicious plants to the KSU Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab through any of our District Offices. They can help in a couple of ways. If it’s not disease, they can help isolate that so you can investigate further. If it is disease, knowing what you are dealing with can better help you manage future planting windows and seed treatments.

A great resource on soybean seedling diseases can be found online (or upon request) at

Turfgrass Issues Abound

It might be a good idea to keep a pretty close eye on turfgrass stands this spring. Rainfall continues to be relatively light and summertime temperatures are on their way up. That could mean trouble for stands stressed by multiple factors.

One factor at play right now is a couple of years of warm/dry fall weather. Stands need “recovery” time as they head in to winter. When they fail to replenish root reserves adequately, there may not be enough energy in root systems to get the plants growing in the spring. In some cases, stands have greened up only to go backwards as temperatures increase.

There could be winter injury at play as well. Cold snaps last December damaged turf in some areas of the state, and it’s possible we’ll see injury here as well. Disease isn’t likely this time of year, even though some stand issues sure resemble them. Most of our cool season turfgrass diseases love heat and high humidity, making them a greater problem as we get in to mid/late summer.

At mowing is a great time for scouting. Look for dead spots or patches, noting which turf species have survived – and which have not. Look for landscape differences that may explain why turf is thin as well. Plan ahead now to get turf back on track later this fall.

David Hallauer51 Posts

David Hallauer is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of horticulture and crops and soils.


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