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Southern Stem Rot: A Destroyer Below the Surface

June 8, 2018
This agronomic image shows peanut leaves.

With peanuts planted and beginning to develop, watching for disease is main priority. Scouting fields and taking stock of crop conditions is an important step in peanut management.

Southern stem rot can cause wilting and eventually death to peanut plants. It appears as white, stringy fungus growth, primarily on lower stems and on nearby leaf litter. Fields with heavy vine growth and high moisture are susceptible, especially during the hottest part of the season following rain. Symptoms may not be noticeable until digging. Prevent outbreaks with an early fungicide application.

According to North Carolina State University’s plant extension, rotating your peanut crop with grain, corn, and other grass species may help to reduce the risk of southern stem rot. Avoid planting with soybeans, tobacco, melons, and vegetables, as those crops may increase the disease.

To further eliminate southern stem rot, use a fungicide such as Elatus® for long-lasting, residual control. With 2 distinct modes of action, Elatus out-performs competitors, providing improved control against disease. To treat southern stem rot and other foliar diseases, begin foliar applications 30-40 days after planting or at the first appearance of the disease.

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