A combination of the rain, heat and humidity has been a recipe for diseases in the many row crop fields. Alabama Cooperative Extension System Plant Pathologist, Edward Sikora, recently said foliar diseases have become more prevalent on soybeans during the last several weeks.
Sikora said the weather is mostly responsible for the higher levels of foliar disease pressure. He said approximately 80 percent of all plant diseases are caused by fungi. Approximately 99 percent of the common fungal diseases thrive in warm, wet weather.
He expects soybean rust to come back like a lion because last year was the worst year he remembers with the disease. And Sikora said there are some soybean varieties that are quite susceptible to Sudden Death Syndrome, as some soybean plants in north Alabama are showing symptoms of it.
When it comes to corn fields, southern corn rust appears to be statewide. In fields that are in the reproductive growth stages, producers should scout for the disease and if present, make a fungicide application one was not previously applied.