What's Cropping Up? Blog

Articles from the bi-monthly Cornell Field Crops newsletter

A New Soybean Disease Resource Available for NY Growers

Jaime A. Cummings and Gary C. Bergstrom
School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section, Cornell University

Figure 1. An example of one of the diseases identified for the first time in NY as a result of the survey.

Surveys of soybean diseases in New York were initiated in 2012 with support by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (2013-2016) and the New York State Corn and Soybean Growers Association (2013-2015). Prior to 2012, no systematic assessment of soybean diseases was made in NY in recent decades and was long overdue. The survey was coordinated by Cornell University’s Field Crops Pathology program under the direction of Dr. Gary Bergstrom and Research Support Specialist Jaime Cummings in collaboration with numerous Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators and countless soybean growers throughout the state.  The purpose of the surveys was to gain a better understanding of the occurrence and distribution of soybean diseases affecting NY growers and to document and monitor the expansion of diseases to new areas.  All distribution maps are based on a positive laboratory diagnosis of the causal microorganism associated with observed symptoms.  Actual ranges of disease occurrence may be wider than appears on these maps but have not yet been confirmed through vigorous laboratory diagnoses. The results of this ongoing survey are now available in the soybean disease section of Cornell’s fieldcrops.org extension website https://fieldcrops.cals.cornell.edu/soybeans/diseases-soybeans/soybean-disease-survey.

Through the efforts of this survey, a total of seven diseases previously undocumented in NY were discovered and confirmed.  These diseases included charcoal rot, Fusarium wilt, sudden death syndrome, brown stem rot, northern stem canker, bacterial wilt and powdery mildew.  The soilborne diseases identified are of particular concern to growers.  Knowing where these diseases have been confirmed will aid growers in making decisions on selecting varieties with resistance and other management options for diseases of potential importance in their areas.  Multiyear surveys better capture the reality of disease occurrences in the region due to the variation in weather from year to year, because each disease may be favored by specific weather conditions.  We will continue the soybean disease survey in 2017 to expand our database and knowledge of which soybean diseases occur throughout NY.

The website, updated annually, outlines the progress of the survey, including the locations included in the survey, the number of samples diagnosed and the primary diseases identified each year.  New York soybean growers can use this new tool to find information on which diseases have been identified in their respective counties, along with information on each disease including epidemiology, diagnostic characteristics for in-field identification, and management options and recommendations (Fig. 1).

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