The National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) INTA Pergamino has warned that conditions were ripe for a disease to strike the soybeans crop and cause heavy losses.
 
INTA Pergamino technicians’ warning came at a time when producers in the central zone of the country are worried and busy in their fields after the floods.
 
The scourge is advancing in those soybean plantations that have been cleared of the excess water. Also, the brown spot, an end-of-cycle fungus disease that strikes every year at the same time, has been increasingly impacting the oilseed crop.
 
According to a report by the phytopathology team of Agricultural Research INTA Pergamino and according to data collected recently, 90 percent of the lots sampled with soybeans showed symptoms of brown spot infection. 
 
The culture at this time is mostly in the first reproductive stages (R1/ R2). One of the key findings of the researchers was that in half the cases, the disease had progressed up to 25 percent of the plant’s height (progression being from the bottom to the top), which shows that the threshold has been reached for the application of fungicides.
 
According to experts, this information should not be underestimated as these are important conditions for the rapid advancement of the brown spot. The weather is also a major factor. The weekly rains ensure that the pathogen continues to climb the plant towards the upper strata.
 
The incomplete coverage of the furrows also contributes to the progression of the diseases as it allows the fungus to ascend as a result of splattering of raindrops.
 
Also, the researchers of Pergamino are already working on a prediction software that helps anticipate the advance of the brown spot. This technology was designed by specialists of INTA Castelar and is based on meteorological variables to make predictions.
 
Thanks to this program, the specialists of Pergamino were able to confirm the progress of the disease that they detected in the field. Since they have been working with the program since the beginning of the year, the first conclusions about the dynamics of the disease show that when the precipitation affected a large region, the brown spot had a very high predisposition towards developing further. Then, this trend moderated. Conditions exist to treat the crop with fungicide.
 
The innovative tool will help formulate maps showing annual risk of the disease, besides mapping the susceptibility and climatic risk in an area for a crop.