Difficulties in Diagnosing Diseases of Mature Soybean Plants

After soybean plants have matured in the field, many organisms begin to grow and colonize these plants.  Rainy weather often promotes growth of and colonization by these organisms.  The longer that plants have been sitting in a field after they are mature, the more likely that they will be colonized by all types of organisms.  Some of the organisms that are colonizing the soybean plants at this stage are soybean pathogens.  The soybean pathogens that are best at colonizing these dead soybean plants generally are also good saprophytes, which means that they are able to grow and obtain nutrients from dead organic matter.

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SoybeanJennifer Elwell
Soybean Stem Borer Infestations are Being Noticed by Kentucky Growers: Yield might Be Reduced

In 2017, there were several reports of Dectes presence in commercial fields in Webster, Henderson, and McLean counties in Kentucky. Soybean plants infested with Dectes larva or tunneling caused by this insect ranged from 25% to 55% (Villanueva et al. 2017). In 2018, I have received reports of fields infested with this pest from Christian, McLean, and Hickman counties, and from southern Illinois and southern Indiana. 

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SoybeanJennifer Elwell
Phomopsis Seed Decay and Purple Seed Stain Prevalent in Harvested Soybeans

Although soybean yields have been pretty good this year, the seed quality of harvested soybeans has not been great in some areas of the state.  Seed diseases have been prevalent in areas that have received a lot of rain since harvest season began.  Phomopsis seed decay (usually caused by Diaporthe longicolla, formerly known as Phomopsis longicolla) and purple seed stain (caused by Cercospora kikuchii and Cercospora flagellaris) are the two main culprits of poor quality seed.

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SoybeanJennifer Elwell