Rain may be a good thing, but too much can become a problem for Georgia growers when it comes to disease control.

The torrential rains Georgia has experienced in recent weeks have created perfect conditions for fungal and bacterial diseases on peanuts, cotton, corn and soybeans.

And soggy fields are preventing farmers from making timely fungicide applications.

Even when a grower is able to make a fungicide application, the frequent rains can rinse the chemical from the plant without sufficient drying time.

Cotton, peanuts, corn and soybean crops are reaching critical stages of growth where judicious use of fungicides is an important management tool. Rain makes this a very difficult task.

Peanut crop

In July, many peanut growers were delayed by days and even weeks from making timely fungicide applications.

Much of the peanut crop is at least 30 days after planting and some is much older.

Current conditions are perfect for the development and spread of leaf spot diseases, white mold and Rhizoctonia limb rot. University of Georgia plant pathologist Tim Brenneman reports that white mold is quite active in extreme southern Georgia and has even killed young plants.


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Corn crop

Southern corn rust has been reported in Georgia fields from across the Coastal Plain from Seminole County to Macon County, from Jefferson County to Wayne County to Pierce County and all points in between.

To my knowledge, southern rust has not caused significant damage yet, but it could easily occur given the widespread distribution of the disease. Farmers’ aggressive use of fungicides has helped contain the disease thus far.