Fusarium root rot

Multiple Fusarium species

Fusarium root rot is a soilborne disease of concern in soybean production areas of NY.  Though it has only been confirmed in a few counties, it is likely more widespread, but is difficult to diagnose or differentiate from other diseases or stresses.  Infection is favored by cool temperatures and wet soils during early vegetative growth stages.  The disease primarily affects younger plants, and symptoms appear as damping off, stunting, decreased vigor, chlorosis, and decreased root masses with brown discoloration and/or lesions on the roots and taproot.  Severely infected plants may wilt when temperatures rise, and young plants may be killed before flowering. 

Foliar chlorosis begins at the leaf margins and moves inward until leaves become chlorotic and defoliation occurs while petioles remain attached to the stems. 

Reducing soil compaction, delaying planting until soil temperatures are favorable for seed germination, crop rotation and seed treatments applied to high quality seed are good management practices for minimizing losses to Fusarium root rot.