Rain Makes Grain, but also Fungi
Plenty rainfall is good for crops, but also can lead to perfect conditions for crop diseases. Seth McAllister has seen some of that lately. He’s the Terrell County Extension Agent with the University of Georgia.
McAllister… “That prolonged moisture has really been an increased challenge on our diseases. A wet environment is perfect for any kind of fungus. So that has been an issue in many cases.”
McAllister says he is seeing fungal diseases like choanephora and downy mildew.
McAllister… “You know, we're seeing some choanephora. It's, you know, a plant pathogen that gets on fruit, mainly. We see it a lot in peas and squash in particular and to a lesser extent in beans. You see it some on the stems and on the leaves, but mainly it's on the fruit. It's more prevalent when there's a lot of high humidity and the leaf canopy is wet for a longer period of time. Which, you know, in the summertime, we dry out pretty fast in the daytime. But if you have enough dew even in the mornings, it can be enough to spread that pathogen. Downy mildew we're starting to see in a lot of our fall cucurbit crops, you know, squash, melons, that kind of thing.”
McAllister also said the row crops have sure enjoyed the weather. The corn and cotton in his area are looking very strong.
For those growing vegetables, though, be sure to watch your crops closely for these diseases and others during this critical time of the growing season.