Fusarium wilt is a soilborne disease of growing concern in soybean production areas of NY. It has been confirmed in a handful of counties, and is likely more widespread. It can be difficult to diagnose or differentiate from other diseases or stresses. Infection is favored by cool temperatures and wet soils during early vegetative growth stages. Plants are infected during early reproductive stages, but symptoms appear later in the season, and are exacerbated by hot, dry weather, when infected plants begin to wilt. In addition to wilting, symptoms include brown discoloration of the vascular system in the roots and stems, and foliage may become chlorotic and defoliation may occur.
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 wilt.