LAMAR, Mo. — Jill Scheidt, a field specialist in agronomy with University of Missouri Extension, scouts southwest Missouri fields every week looking for pests, unusual diseases and others issues that could impact producers productivity, yields and profits.
She has seen a bit of everything over the years, from armyworms and to several recent cases of sudden death syndrome in fields.
However, something very uncommon in Missouri showed up in a Barry County soybean field this week: target spot.
“This is not a common disease in Missouri and this is actually the first confirmed case in southwest Missouri,” said Scheidt.
Target spot appears in the lower canopy of soybeans as dark brown lesions occurring in concentric circles, with a yellow halo on lesions. Target spot can also occur on stem, petiole and pods and severe cases lead to leaf and pod drop.
Warm, wet weather or humid conditions encourage development. Dry conditions stop development of disease.
“Fungicides are not very effective in thick canopies as it is hard to get fungicide into lower canopy,” said Scheidt.
In most years, target spot may be present but cause little to no yield issues. However, it can be devastating in some years if the right conditions.
Target spot is most often seen in the Midsouth and southern states. The fungus can overwinter on crop debris and in the soil.
To reduce the total inoculum, growers should practice crop rotation.
“Target spot can be more severe when production practices allow a dense canopy to quickly develop,” said Scheidt.
For more information about the MU Extension field crop scouting report program, or for information specific to planting winter wheat, contact Jill Scheidt at the Barton County Extension office, (417) 682-3579.
University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything.
— Jill Scheidt, University of Missouri Extension
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