Research ongoing for target spot disease

Auburn University researcher Austin Hagan explains that researchers are finding options to deal with target spot, which will be helpful for cotton growers in south Alabama, where disease pressure is highest. Southeast Farm Press discusses some of his findings, which he explains during a field day in Headland, AL.

Many questions remain about how to treat target spot on cotton, but researchers do know that under the right conditions, it can lead to significant yield losses.

“Target spot first showed up in Alabama about three or four years ago and has really become an issue in south Alabama primarily on irrigated cotton or on cotton that gets a lot of rain,” said Auburn University Extension Plant Pathologist Austin Hagan during the Wiregrass Crops Field day held in Headland, Ala. “When you get into chest-high cotton in south Alabama you see a lot of this disease.”

There’s some question as to how much yield can be lost to target spot, says Hagan.

“We really haven’t had to deal with leaf spot diseases in cotton in the past. Some of the earlier estimates were around 200 pounds of lint per acre, which right now would be about a $120-per-acre yield loss. Some of the crop consultants in southwest Georgia were talking along the lines of about 600 pounds of lint per acre in some situations. The work we’ve done in Fairhope near the Alabama Gulf Coast suggests the yield loss may be up around 400 pounds of lint per acre, and that’s based on data from several different cotton varieties over the last two years,” he says.


Read the rest of the story in Southeast Farm Press.

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