Last week the big question was, “Since it’s so dry, will I need to use fungicides for Rhizoctonia control?” The answer then was to get your fungicide down while the field conditions remained dry. Well, as it does every year at some point, conditions have since turned wet. With most of the area receiving a couple inches of rain over the past few days, conditions will be ripe for Rhizoctonia infections as soon as the soils warm back up.
With many sugarbeets planted before April 20 this year, the three to four weeks of protection provided by a seed treatment has come, or is quickly coming, to an end. As soon as field conditions allow, get out there and make your fungicide applications in a seven-inch band before the soil temperatures get back up to the mid-60s (which is when Rhizoctonia will start infecting sugarbeets).
Remember, there is no cure for Rhizoctonia once the infection happens. Act now to prevent yield and revenue loss later in the season. Contact your local Syngenta representative for more recommendations. Also check out this helpful resource from North Dakota State University.