Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Pre-Plant Disease Management Tips

Based on Florida research trials, these three tips can help producers
effectively manage disease and nematodes. 

As we head into the 2023 peanut season, many farmers are thinking about how to cut production costs while avoiding any negative effects on yield. This is not an easy task when we consider disease and nematode management. 

Through observation of large-plot variety trials conducted at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak, Florida, and the Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra, Florida, three tips are offered at pre-planting. These tips can help producers effectively manage disease and nematode issues in their fields while possibly reducing input costs.

Tip 1: Select A Resistant Variety

Planting a disease and/or nematode-resistant variety can save on input costs related to both nematicides and fungicides. Large-plot research at the NFREC shows that varieties with disease resistance, such as Georgia-12Y, and nematode resistance, such as TifNV-High O/L, could improve yields by three-fold compared to Georgia-06G. Additionally, the soilborne disease resistance package of FloRun 331 improved yields by two-fold compared to Georgia-06. 

Yield results of the four varieties from the trial at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak, Florida.

Unfortunately, variety alone did not make up for the lack of rotation or a low-input fungicide program used in the trial. However, changes to the fungicide program will likely not be as extensive for the resistant varieties as it will be for Georgia-06G. Resistant varieties can also provide more leniency in delayed or missed fungicide applications and may provide some cost saving through reduced seed costs.

Tip 2: Understand The Soil’s Impact On Plant Health

Yield, in pounds per acre, results from the PSREU large plot trial comparing the replications in the wet soil/standing water area (wet) to non-water issues (dry).

If a field has an area that is slow to drain or can have pooling water, it is critical to think about the impact on yield. Root pruning due to excessive water can significantly reduce yields across varieties, which we observed in our 2021 large plot peanut trial at PSREU. The area had pooling of water throughout the season, and it led to a two-fold yield reduction. 

Foliar disease was also observed to be higher in this area compared to the rest of the field, which could be attributed to the environment and plant stress.

Disease results as a percent defoliation from the PSREU large plot trial comparing the replications in the wet soil/standing water area (wet) to non-water issues (dry).

These areas can be important inoculum sources for the rest of the field and may require more intensive management programs if the water cannot be drained.

 

Tip 3: Nematode Management Must Be Planned Before You Put The Seed In The Ground

Once a peanut seed is planted, a farmer becomes a spectator when it comes to nematode management. The best thing to do for nematodes is to plant a resistant variety. TifNV, and other resistant varieties, continue to reduce nematode populations dramatically in the field. It was observed in the 2021 large plot trial that root-knot nematodes were reduced by as much as 1,900 nematodes per 100 cc of soil when comparing TifNV to Georgia-06G. 

Aerial image of the large plot variety trials at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak, Florida, and the Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra, Florida, with single replications of the four varieties examined as labeled.

Other integrated nematode management techniques, such as rotation to non-host crop and fumigants or non-fumigant (liquid/granular) nematicides, are useful for nematode management, too. However, varietal resistance tends to give more consistent results across sights and locations. If you are concerned about nematode issues, especially root-knot nematode, contact your local Extension agent or the nematode assay lab.

Trial Takeaways

One of the biggest things you can do to manage peanut
disease and nematodes issues is select a resistant variety. However, there are times when understanding your field conditions (e.g. slow drainage areas and pest presence) can alter your decisions. Understanding your risk is one way to decide if a resistant variety is right for you. 

Information on disease risk can be found at PeanutRx.org, and variety information can be found on the Florida Peanut Team website at nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/florida-peanut-team or Panhandle Ag e-news at nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/phag. PG


Article by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Nicholas Dufault Department of Plant Pathology; Zane Grabau and Chang (Diana) Liu, Department of Entomology and Nematology. 

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