Even in a dry year, cercospora research continues. University of Minnesota and NDSU Extension Sugarbeet Specialist Mohamed Khan says the work continues to evaluate varieties and fungicide effectiveness. “It’s been a dry and warm year. Cercospora doesn’t like conditions above 93 degrees. In the last two weeks, it’s been cooler and much wetter in areas. That’s more favorable for cercospora and on our site, we inoculate. All we need is a favorable environment and a susceptible host.” Khan tries to duplicate conditions that happen in farmer’s fields. “I use different fungicides, mixtures and application timings to find out the best time to apply. I evaluate varieties tolerant to diseases and then, determine when fungicides are needed for this new system.”
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