Agricultural Research Division of IANR


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Published in Plant Disease, March 2005. © 2005 The American Phytopathological Society. Used by permission.


A field study conducted during the 2001 and 2002 growing seasons investigated the integration of fungicide applications and tillage methods for reducing root health problems in dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) plants by alleviating soil compaction and its potential exacerbation of root disease. Several cultural practices were combined with applications of the strobilurin fungicide azoxystrobin. Soil compaction was created artificially throughout the entire plot area. Six treatments, consisting of four tillage treatments and two combinations of tillage or applications of azoxystrobin, were tested to alleviate the compaction and enhance root health. Tillage treatments included a compacted control with no additional tillage, formation of beds approximately 10 cm above soil surface, zone tillage with an implement using in-row shanks, and both zone tillage and bedding combined. Fungicide treatments utilized the combination of both zone tillage and bedding with fungicide applications, and a fungicide treatment singly. Effects of compaction on plant vigor and disease development and severity were evaluated 67 and 83 days after planting in 2001 and 2002, respectively, by a visual estimation of plot vigor and by destructively sampling and making root and hypocotyl disease ratings on dry bean plants from nonharvest rows. Soil resistance and moisture were measured in plots 80 and 104 days after planting in 2001 and 2002, respectively, to estimate degree of compaction. In both years, Fusarium root rot, caused by Fusarium solani f. sp. phaseoli, was determined to be the main root disease impacting plant health in studies. All measured variables (root disease index, plant vigor ratings, total seed yield, seed size, and soil resistance) were significantly improved by any treatment that included zone tillage prior to planting. No added advantages were observed for decreasing disease or improving root health and plant performance with the use of azoxystrobin or by planting on raised beds. This is the first study to evaluate zone tillage as a method of reducing plant stress and root disease in dry bean plants.

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