Wet conditions have delayed new alfalfa seedings in many parts of the state, and these conditions also may lead to problems with soilborne fungi. Several genera of fungi can attack alfalfa seedlings, includingPhytophthora, Pythium, Aphanomyces, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia. Traditionally, Phytophthora andPythium have been considered the primary pathogens, but recently Aphanomyces euteiches has been more widely recognized. According to a survey we did in 1994, Aphanomyces is more common thanPhytophthora in Iowa soils, and these two fungi should be considered equal threats to seedlings. Seedling diseases should be suspected when emergence is poor and/or there are obviously stunted, discolored, or dead seedlings.
Iowa State University
Munkvold, Gary P., "Alfalfa seedling diseases in 1998" (1998). Integrated Crop Management News. 2251.
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