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Cercospora Leaf Spot Control in Sugarbeet (8/03/17)

The fungal pathogen, Cercospora beticola causes Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) in sugarbeet. CLS is the most destructive foliar disease of sugarbeet in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Cercospora Leaf Spot Control in Sugarbeet

Causal Agent

The fungal pathogen, Cercospora beticola causes Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) in sugarbeet. CLS is the most destructive foliar disease of sugarbeet in North Dakota and Minnesota. Severe CLS in 2016 has resulted in a high overwintering population for the 2017 crop.

Current level of Cercospora leaf spot and fungicide control

CLS is currently present in all factory districts in North Dakota and Minnesota. The disease is currently most severe in southern Minnesota where near weekly rainfall event has made conditions favorable for infection and disease development. Early planting coupled with favorable environmental conditions resulted in good crop growth and early row closure. In many areas, growers have been successful at providing adequate CLS control by starting fungicide applications at disease onset or at first symptoms and making timely applications.

In research trails at Foxhome, MN, disease is starting to become severe in the non-treated check plots. Growers will need to continue using effective fungicide mixtures, monitor fields for disease control, and try to avoid extending spray intervals especially in areas that receive more rainfall. Cercospora population tend to increase significantly in August and cause severe defoliation if not effectively controlled. If the weather is warm (higher than 77°F in the day and 60°F at night) and wet in August, growers may need two to three fungicide applications involving mixtures to effectively control CLS in August of 2017. Please contact your agriculturists, consultants, County Agents or me if you need advice on controlling CLS.

Mohamed Khan

Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

NDSU & U of MN

701-231-8596

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