Common sunflower disease found in the Dakotas - KOTA Territory News

Common sunflower disease found in the Dakotas

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The National Sunflower Association says a common sunflower disease has been found in fields across the Dakotas after a wet planting season.

The group says downy mildew was been found in about two-thirds of fields surveyed over the last two weeks in North Dakota and South Dakota. About 70 fields were surveyed. Only 8 fields surveyed had had more than 5 percent of their crop infected.

Infected plants will often die and if they survive they will not yield. The group says yield loss doesn't usually occur unless downy mildew occurs in large patches of a field.

Downy mildew is caused by a pathogen that lives for many years in soil. When it rains after planting, the pathogen produces spores that infect roots and cause a systematic infection.

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