NDSU Crop and Pest Report

ISSUE 3  May 16, 2002



Pythium or ‘water mold’ occurs in all fields and requires moist or wet conditions to infect seeds or seedlings. Pythium can infect and rot seeds before or as they germinate. Normally, Apron and Thiram protect sugarbeet seeds from Pythium. However, Pythium can cause seed rot when conditions slow or delay emergence. These conditions include cold weather, deep planting, and excessive soil moisture. Under extremely wet conditions, Pythium also causes damping-off, usually within the first week of emergence. Symptoms of Pythium include a brown, water-soaked discoloration of the seedling before or just after emergence. Pythium infects seeds at the same temperatures (40°-95° F) that favor germination of sugarbeet seed. Shallow planting at 0.75’’ depth encourages emergence and reduces disease in wet, early-seeded fields.

Mohamed Khan
Extension Sugarbeet Specialist


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