The cornerstone of a strong soybean management strategy is diligent and timely scouting for insect and disease problems. With a proactive approach, yield losses may often be avoided or reduced. However, when scouting for evidence of diseases in soybeans, many difficulties may be encountered. Because most plant pathogens are microscopic, a grower or consultant must rely on symptoms observed on plants. Therein lies a challenge; often symptoms of diseases are not distinct from each other, nor are they always “typical.” Additionally, incorrect diagnosis may result in an ineffective control method, wasting time and money and not preventing yield loss. Ineffective control may allow the pathogen to maintain a presence in subsequent years. It is critical then that soybean producers are able to quickly and accurately diagnose disease conditions in the field.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison