Back to top

Diseases of Soybeans

Several diseases, including Phytophthora root and stem rot, pod and stem blight, frogeye leaf spot, brown spot, downy mildew, Cercopsora leaf blight and purple seed stain, and Sclerotinia stem rot (white mold), are known to affect soybeans in New York. Little is known, however, about the incidence, severity, or yield effects of diseases in the state. Diseases generally are kept in check by the use of sound agronomic practices such as crop rotation and the selection of soybean varieties with resistance to diseases known to be a problem in the local area. Although there is little research information on which to base chemical disease control guidelines in New York, the following information on fungicides is included as a service to New York growers who may wish to apply fungicides.


Treatment of seed with protectant fungicides, professionally applied by the seed supplier, is recommended for all soybean seed planted in New York - with the exception of organic production. Fungicide treatment is especially needed when seeds are planted into cold wet soils or where there is a field history of damping-off or Phytophthora root rot. Planting of bin-run seed is discouraged, though planter box application of fungicide can be made by the grower at the time of seeding. Remember to read and follow pesticide labels carefully.

Several fungicide products are registered for use on soybeans by foliar application. The efficacy of these products for soybean disease control based on appropriate application timing and labeled rates is listed in Table 6.5.1 as a convenience for New York soybean producers. While each of the diseases listed occurs in the state, the data on the relationships between disease severity, yield loss, and economic return are not sufficient to base a recommendation for fungicide application to soybeans in New York. Good data from other parts of the United States, however, indicate that foliar fungicide application to a soybean seed crop (where environmental conditions and local disease pressure warrant it) can substantially increase seed vigor and germinability and can reduce the carryover of inoculum of seedborne diseases such as pod and stem blight and anthracnose.

Fungicides for soybean diseases table
Click table for larger version

In this Section