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Bean Day 2006
March 29, 2006

Disease Prevention Starts with Seed, Field Selection

Disease prevention in your 06 bean crop begins with seed selection and field history, says Jack Rasmussen, professor and interim chair of the NDSU Department of Plant Pathology.

Planting certified, anthracnose-free seed is the best way to prevent the introduction of this pathogen into a dry bean field.  Prevention is indeed the best way to manage this disease; anthracnose is usually introduced to a field by infected seed or by machinery during cultivation or harvesting.

While seed treatments and fungicides can help prevent disease, genetics is still the best answer, says Rasmussen.  Keep resistance to white mold, rust, fusarium root rot, blight, and BCMV in mind as well when selecting varieties and bean types (see variety descriptions in the latter part of this issue).  If you know youre going to plant a certain variety, the sooner you lock in your seed, the better; no sense in risking not getting enough seed of the variety you intend to plant.

Keep field history in mind when planting dry beans  the anthracnose pathogen can survive on infected plant residues in the field for two years (and up to five years on infected seed stored at 40ยบ F, something to watch with bin-run seed). Rotation from beans for three to four years is generally recommended for reducing the risk to most diseases.

Field history is particularly important with Sclerotinia, which produces the hard, black resting bodies called Sclerotia that can survive in the soil for a number of years (five or more) and infect susceptible broadleaf crops in subsequent years, if weather is conducive to the formation of white mold.  Sclerotinia/white mold susceptible crops include canola, sunflower, dry peas, lentils, dry edible beans, and soybeans.


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