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Preparing for Black Shank in Tobacco

January 18, 2018
This agronomic image shows a cut tobacco stem, exposing blackened necrotic pith.

Tobacco stem cut, exposing blackened necrotic pith.

Before black shank garners notoriety for damage to tobacco fields in 2018, growers should follow the advice shared by NC State Extension in 2017 and take preventive steps to lessen the severity of disease. Black shank is a soilborne fungal disease that can affect all stages of plant development. It infects plants through root tips and wounds, causing root and crown rots. Symptoms above ground include wilting, chlorosis and necrosis of leaves, necrotic girdling of the lower stem, and plant death. Disease symptoms are also expressed as necrotic girdling of the lower part of the stem.

Because the pathogen that causes black shank overwinters in the soil and can survive for at least 4 years, it is important to factor field history into your management plan. Crop rotation, bedding fields and fumigation all contribute to a cleaner field.

Orondis® Gold fungicide is another tool that can help you manage black shank. It combines the proven performance of mefenoxam with the latest active ingredient, oxathiapiprolin, for reliable protection and built-in resistance management. It also provides application flexibility, as it can be used at transplanting, at cultivation, or at lay-by.

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