Southern Blight

scouted Aug. 29, 2023

Soybeans were scouted at the late R5 growth stage and yellow and brown discoloration of leaves, wilting, light brown lesions on the stem, and white matted growth along the stem were observed in widespread areas across the field. This environment was dry for several weeks, until recently when the crop received 4 inches of rain.
This issue was confirmed by the NC State Plant, Disease and Insect clinic to be Southern Blight (caused by the fungus Athelia rolfsii). Symptomology associated with southern blight includes yellowing, wilting, light brown lesions on stems near the soil surface, and white fan-like mat of hyphae. This pathogen favors hot, wet weather conditions. Deep cultivation to bury sclerotia and crop rotations to non-host crops such as wheat or corn are the best management practices. Fungicides are not recommended.

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