Skip to Main Content

Cloudy, Wet Weather May Increase Disease Pressure

wetWeather.jpg

What a difference a few weeks makes! One month ago, we were in the middle of a hot and dry summer with little rain in sight, but since then precipitation has been steady and crops and vegetables have grown exponentially. Rainfall this time of year is almost always something to be thankful for; however, it does add one more thing for farmers and gardeners to scout for: diseases.

Plant pathologists will tell us that there are three things needed for a plant disease to occur: First, a susceptible host (or the plant) which is always present during the growing season. Second, a viable disease in the surrounding area. Third, a favorable environment, which we have during humid, wet, cloudy days. Think of where and when you would suspect to find a mold or fungus: in a dark, wet area that gets little air circulation, which is similar to the environments in some of our corn and soybean fields and crowded gardens right now.

When scouting for the presence of plant diseases, there are a few questions to ask. First, is there a pattern to the symptoms? Many diseases will cause random, irregular patterns, which likely means we are dealing with a biotic problem such as a fungi, bacteria, insect, or some other living thing. Abiotic disorders, such as drought stress, nutrient deficiency, overly saturated soils, or herbicide injury often appear in a pattern that you can follow along with in an area.

Another factor is noticing what plants are affected. If a certain plant species is the only thing showing symptoms, this may narrow it down to a disease as well, as if it were something that was biotic, other nearby vegetation would likely be affected as well. For example, though the symptoms may look similar, you might be able to eliminate the possibility of herbicide drift along the edge of a soybean field if all of the other plants in roadside appear unaffected.

To keep up with field crop plant diseases as they appear, as well as help with identification and control, consider visiting Purdue’s Field Crop Pathology website at: https://extension.purdue.edu/fieldcroppathology/ Gardening information can be found on Purdue’s Consumer Horticulture website: https://www.purdue.edu/hla/sites/yardandgarden/ For inquiries, feel free to contact the Purdue Extension White County Office at 219-984-5115 or e-mail me at awestfal@purdue.edu Plant samples can also be submitted to Purdue’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory for problem identification and control recommendations for a small fee of $11. Information on the laboratory can be found here: https://ag.purdue.edu/btny/ppdl

Featured Stories

transplanting
Hotbeds and Cold Frames

I recently wrote that starting seeds indoors is one way to get a head start on growing vegetables or annual flowers. Another way to get a head start is by using hotbeds or cold frames. These structures can be built by homeowners, and they...

Read More
Purdue Extension.
Purdue Extension to Offer ‘Mental Health First Aid’

Are you, or is someone you care about, experiencing farm stress or other forms of stress that worry you? Mental Health First Aid is a course to educate individuals about how to interact with and support someone who may be developing a mental...

Read More
grow lights
Starting Seeds Indoors

While things are frozen and white outside, some home gardeners are thinking about getting a head start on garden plants by starting seeds indoors. Rosie Lerner, Purdue University consumer horticulture specialist (recently retired), authored the...

Read More
Purdue Extension.
WHITLEY COUNTY 4-H TRIPS

This area contains information on the 4-H trips offered through the Whitley County 4-H program that a 4-H'er may be eligible for and to participate in! 4-H'ers in grades 3-12 are eligible to attend any of the 4-H Trips. 4-H Trips...

Read More
Purdue Extension.
2022 Fort Wayne Farm Show

The Fort Wayne Farm Show is returning after having a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.  This year’s Farm Show will take place from Tuesday, January 18 through Thursday, January 20 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort...

Read More
Purdue Extension.
2022 News Archive - Agriculture and Natural Resources, Whitley County

Find recent agriculture and natural resources-related articles for this year that have cycled off our main pages.

Read More
To Top