Early season cold results in seedling disease - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Early season cold results in seedling disease


While you may be enjoying our cooler than normal spring, many south Georgia farmers are not. The drop in temperature and heavy rainfall delayed planting for cotton and peanuts and may cause plant diseases.

But growers are optimistic for a good season.

This green cotton seedling is what growers want to see at this point of the season.

This yellow seedling is not.

"We were in this field yesterday looking at some insects and were noticing some of the cotton seedlings that were coming up were yellow and what it is is the cool weather has also had an effect on these newly emerged seedlings," said Thomas Co. Extension Agent Andrew Sawyer.

The unseasonably cooler weather has delayed peanut and cotton planting in parts of south Georgia and also increased the chance for seedling disease.

Growers say while the early season cooler weather has delayed planting, the conditions should balance out as the season continues.

"I've already seen some peanuts that have been sprouted and this sudden drop in temperature will slow down some root growth, but not cause serious problems. If peanuts were planted prior to the cold, it may slow down germination," said Sawyer.

The inconsistent weather is also having an impact on south Georgia corn.

"Northern corn leaf blight will not be a problem in every field, but in fields where it is a problem, timely use of a fungicide program can protect the yield," said Sawyer.

While the rain may have come down heavy early, it will always be welcomed during the summer months.

"If we are still getting rain, that would be great and very important especially for crops like corn who did not take stress as well especially in the early stages," said Sawyer.

And growers say as long as we get back to a consistent warming trend, this yellow seedling will soon look like its greener counterpart.

To reduce seedling diseases, growers should wait for warmer soils, plant high quality seed, and consider using additional fungicide seed treatments.


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