Will hot, dry weather stop sclerotinia stem rot?

July 29, 2020 – Issue 20

Not really. If infection got started, then this fungus is in the plant. When conditions are ideal (relative humidity over 80 per cent and temperatures of 20°C to 25°C) then pathogen grows aggressively eating up more tissue. When conditions are not ideal, the disease slows…waiting, patiently.

But there are exceptions. If temperatures remain hot and the canopy remains dry through most of the day, then fungal growth will be minimal. Infected leaves could be shed or dropped before the fungus can reach the stem. But once in the stem, some yield loss is unavoidable.

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