High Moisture Increases Risk of Crop Diseases

Tanja Folnovic

Agronomy Expert

This year the rain is giving headache to many of us. Not only because of failed plans for working outdoors, but also because of damages it inflicts on crops. Extremely changing weather, as frequent rains and short hot periods, favors the emergence of some diseases on farm crops. Under the current weather conditions diseases are caused by Phytium, Phytophthora and Alternaria species. Affected plants are stunted with shallow root growth, yellowish or purplish, and are scattered around the field. Complete crop may failure not only due to disease, but also due to delay planting, soil compaction, reduced nutrient adoption and excess-water stress combined. Arable crops and vegetables are the most susceptible to attack, especially their seed and root. Increased soil moisture develops root rot, Physoderma brown spot and crazy top disease which are dangerous in all development stages. Phytophthora root rot (PRR) is the most prevalent and most damaging of the root rot diseases. The pathogens that cause these diseases survive on plant residue. Spores of these pathogens swim in water and infect the plant. High moisture causes diseases on leaves too, in the form of late and early blight on vegetables and some fruit species. Plants are affected especially in fruit stage and if protection is not done on time, the entire crop may fail.

Managing high soil moisture associated diseases

Once infection has taken place, there is almost nothing can do to control diseases. However, when they are noticed, the following measures should be considered to prevent or reduce their chance of developing in the next growing season

  • Select high yielding, resistant or tolerant cultivars. For example, cultivars that have good disease ratings for PRR.
  • Use tillage methods that promote good drainage. Saturated/poorly drained soils increase the risk of seedling infection. Avoid deep planting and working the soil when it is too wet.
  • Practice crop rotation. Crop rotation helps break disease cycles and accumulation of inoculum.
  • Fungicide seed and preventive treatments. If treatments aren't done, it may be too late for curative. Agrivi helps you to treat crops before diseases occure. It alarms you when is time for crop protection, based on current weather conditions on your fields. Agrivi also lets you to see the list of active substances that can be used to prevent each disease, as well as commercial products that contain that active substances so you could know what to buy.
    • You can't protect your crop from heavy rains, but you can protect it from high moist diseases. Use Agrivi farm management software to take protection on time and save your yield.