Carrington Research Extension Center


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Plant disease management research at the Carrington Research Extension Center


The Carrington Research Extension Center maintains a vigorous plant pathology program with the goal of developing more effective and profitable crop disease management strategies for North Dakota producers. 

Plant disease management studies are currently underway to:

  • improve recommendations for fungicide application timing in key foliar diseases
  • develop crop rotation recommendations for several soil-borne diseases that are difficult to manage with other practices
  • facilitate the development of crop varieties with greater resistance to key diseases
  • identify the interaction between specific agronomic practices and subsequent disease pressure for several important diseases
  • evaluate the comparative efficacy of registered seed treatments and to screen new (experimental) seed treatments for efficacy
  • evaluate the comparative efficacy of registered foliar fungicides and to screen new (experimental) foliar fungicides for efficacy against key diseases. 

Plant pathology studies are being conducted on a wide breadth of crops grown in North Dakota; current efforts are focused on soybeans, dry edible beans, and several important broadleaf crops grown primarily in western North Dakota, including chickpeas, field peas, and lentils, and work is also being conducted on corn, spring wheat, barley, sunflowers, canola, alfalfa, and safflower.

To help transfer findings from studies to producers and crop advisors, results from key studies are available online. Fungicide efficacy data are currently available online for key diseases on multiple crops, and results from other studies - including studies evaluating seed treatments, fungicide application timing, and the impact of specific agronomic practices on disease - will be posted online in future years.  Fungicide efficacy results are available at or by searching for the Carrington Research Extension Center and clicking on the "plant pathology" link at the upper left-hand corner.  Results are organized by crop and, within each crop, by disease.  Where an extensive number of studies have been conducted, results within each disease are organized by registered fungicide and interpretive summaries on the efficacy of each fungicide are included.  Most reports are presented in two formats:  a user-friendly format with key results presented visually with bar graphs, and a technical format with full results presented in a table.


An example of Sclerotinia stem rot of lentils. 
Photos like this and more can be found at

The Carrington Research Extension Center's history as an irrigation research center has proven invaluable for the current disease management research efforts.  Disease management strategies can only be studied if the crop disease develops, and many of the most important crop diseases in North Dakota develop during wet weather.  The research center has excellent irrigation infrastructure, and this infrastructure has permitted the development of extensive micro-irrigation efforts designed to deliver appropriate amounts of water at key crop growth stages to facilitate disease development even when rainfall patterns are not conducive to crop disease development.

Michael Wunsch
Plant Pathologist

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