LONOKE - A diseasethat can strip cotton plants of their leaves has been confirmed in four Arkansas counties.
Target spot, or Corynespora leaf spot, has been found in Craighead,Mississippi, Poinsett and Woodruff counties, according to Travis Faske, extension plantpathologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Target spot is a fungal disease that affects cucumbers, sweet potatoes, soybeansand tomatoes, in addition to cotton. In cotton, it forms a brick red lesionthat can grow to between one-quarter and one inch wide. The lesions haveconcentric circles and look like a target.
The wet conditions innortheastern Arkansas have likely encouraged growth of the disease.
"A few fields in CraigheadCounty had 10 percent defoliation in the lower canopy in areas of the fieldwith the highest disease severity," he said, adding the infection probablywon't cause yield loss.
However, where the diseasehas been reported in Alabama and Georgia, fields with 50 to 75 percentdefoliation early in the growing season had yield losses of 100 to 200 poundsof lint per acre. The disease occurs earlier in the season in other areas ofthe southeastern U.S.
Faske said the extent of thedisease's presence in Arkansas isn't yet known and any samples should be sentto the Plant Health Clinic in Fayetteville or to your county extension office.
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