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Fusarium wilt (also called Fusarium blight)

© Iowa State University

Pathogen(s) causing disease:

Fusarium oxysporum


Upper leaves are wilted and seem to be scorched. The middle or lower leaves turn yellow or have pale yellow spots, then wither or drop prematurely. Unlike Phytophthora, there is no evidence of a stem lesion or external decay that goes above the soil line. Cutting the roots and stems lengthwise will reveal a browning of the vascular tissue and pith.


Disease occurs after warm, humid weather. Soybean cyst nematodes and herbicide injury can predispose soybeans to infection by this fungus. Fusarium wilt is most problematic when soybeans are under water and root stress.


Varieties have varying levels of susceptibility, but no resistant varieties have been developed. Reducing or eliminating stress factors, such as use of herbicides that cause injury to soybeans, wet soils and soybean cyst nematode, can help reduce root rot problems. Growing varieties tolerant to iron deficiency chlorosis should be considered if the root rot seems associated with iron deficiency chlorosis. If Fusarium is determined to be a problem in a field, fungicide seed treatments may protect seedlings in subsequent years. Also, consider planning soybeans in problematic fields when soils are warmer.


IA Soybean Association

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