Fusarium Stalk Rot
About the Disease: The disease is caused by Fusarium species and is characterized by a pink colored discoloration of the stalk. In many of the stalk rot diseases, black specks might be observed. But in the case of the Fusarium stalk rot, you will not find them. This can be used as a differentiation from the other rots. Fungal diseases can be prevented if resistant strains are cultivated.
Symptoms: Most of the conditions in the Fusariun stalk rot will be similar to the conditions that you might be observing in the Gibberella stalk rot. Certain symptoms are also like those found in the Diplodia stalk rot disease. The stalk region turns slightly pink.
This discoloration will be the first symptom that will be observed. Apart from this, you will not observe any specks on the stalk. Specks actually refer to the fruiting body of the fungus. The lower nodes might break very easily. The ears of the plant are also small. The stalks will wither after it gets infected by the fungus.
Pathogen Involved: There are certain pathogens that might cause the disease like Fusarium moniliforme and F. subglutinans. F. proliferatum can also be the causative agent. In all the places where corn is grown, these fungi can be seen growing. Excessive cold in winter can also be a cause.
Time of Occurrence: This disease mainly occurs, after the period of pollination gets completed.
Conditions Favoring Disease: When some of the plants like wheat or corn are infected by few insects, this injury can also lead to the formation of the fungal growth and the disease. Certain other factors like environmental stress can also be a major causative agent. When the condition of the weather is quite dry as well as warm, this will be the best suited condition for the fungal growth.
Disease Management: When the cause is identified in a clear way, the disease management will no more be a difficult task. The best way to prevent this disease is to perform a proper selection or screening test, before growing them. There are many stalk boring insects that can further ruin the plant. The stress caused by various factors to the plant must be highly reduced. This will be the best preventive measure. Cultivating many plants in the same area is not advisable. Such overcrowding can produce a good condition for fungal growth. Thus the plants need to be cultivated after a proper planning on the space availability. Resistant hybrids can be collected separately and they can be grown on a fertile soil.