By Harold Watters and Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension
The two most common seedling diseases this year were compaction and Pythium. We overworked the soil, this spring and last spring both, and maybe even last fall. Poor soil structure leads to soil compaction and crusting. I often quote Sjoerd Duiker, agronomist at PennState University, this time I’ll just give you his link: https://extension.psu.edu/soil-crusting.
Pythium is another problem — our seed treatments only work for so long and this year with cool soils, crusting and excessive rains at the wrong time created a great opportunity for this disease. See Anne Dorrance’s article in a recent C.O.R.N. newsletter for some thoughts on seedling disease: https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2020-17/corn-and-soybean-seedling-blights. I like to give you all some advice with this column, this time I’ll quote a co-worker, “We should have left the seed in the bag until conditions were right.”