Seedling blights

Area of impact: Seeds

Description: Generally disease damage is indicated by reduced emergence, slow growth, stunting, wilting, yellowing and postemergence damping off. Specifically look for rotted seeds or seedlings, red or yellow leaf discoloration, rotted roots with brown or gray lesions or decay dead leaf tips, wilting leaf spots or lesions on newly emerged seedlings.

Pathogen involved: Stenocarpella, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium Colletotrichum and Penicillium are all fungal pathogens that affect seeds. Erwinia and Pseudomonas are bacterial infections in seeds.

Timing/Conditions: Varies depending on location and pathogen but in general cool wet compacted soil and poor seed quality.

Contributing factors: The source of these pathogens is soil infested residue or infested seed.

Management practices: Plant in soil warmer than 50°F to 55°F and use seed treated with fungicide.

Ask an Agronomist