sealPurdue News

August 23, 1996

This year's wet weather threatens crops in 1999

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- This year's weird weather has focused farmers' attention on the upcoming harvest. That's fine, but they also need to think about how it will affect crops in 1998 and 1999, said Purdue University plant disease specialist Don Scott.

Scott is one of several specialists using information from the Davis-Purdue Agricultural Center near Farmland to make recommendations for regional farmers at the field day there on Tuesday, Aug. 27. He suggested that farmers keep good records of disease problems this year.

"With changes toward reduced tillage, we've got some major problems on the horizon," Scott said. "Certain disease residues survive two to three years, so you can't figure that rotating from beans to corn next year will mean no problems."

In fact, if a bean field goes to corn for the next two years, then back to beans, farmers still could have big disease losses in 1999. Because wet weather forced farmers to plant beans for the second year in a row in some fields this summer, certain disease problems have had a chance build to high levels, Scott said.

"Soybean cyst nematodes, brown stem rot and sclerotinia white mold, for example, may be more of a problem two years from now when farmers go back to soybeans," he said.

Farmers who are losing crops to these diseases now should keep track of their problems and consider planting disease-resistant soybean varieties two or three years down the road, Scott said. Farmers who don't keep track may lose out.

"I often am called in when disease problems are severe and am asked what farmers can do," Scott said. "By that time it's too late -- there's nothing to do. But if they'd planted disease-resistant seeds, they could have avoided problems."

The Davis-Purdue Agricultural Center is one of eight research sites chosen because it typifies the soil and climate of a major Indiana farming region. At Davis, researchers study the disease, weed and insect problems commonly found in eastern Indiana corn and soybean fields.

For more information on the Davis field day, contact your local Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service office or call 1-800-872-1920.

CONTACT: Scott, (765) 494-4627; e-mail,