Radiometric assessment of tillage and seed treatment effect on soybean root rot caused by Fusarium spp. in central Minnesota

D. Wang, J. E. Kurle, C. Estevez De Jensen, J. A. Percich

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11 Scopus citations


Soybean root rot, caused primarily by Fusarium solani f. sp. phaseoli in a complex with F. oxysporum and Rhizoctonia solani, has become an increasing problem for soybeans, dry beans, and other rotation crops in central Minnesota due to soil conditions associated with reduced tillage. This study was conducted, in two field sites in central Minnesota located near Staples and Verndale, to develop methods for nondestructive assessment of root rot severity using plant radiometric properties. Soybean canopy reflectance was measured with a hand-held multi-spectral radiometer. Prior to the radiometer measurements, attempts were made to create differing root rot situations with moldboard or chisel tillage, and with or without a biological seed treatment. Root rot severity was estimated using a visual disease severity scale. Colony-forming units (CFU) were determined to estimate soil populations of pathogenic F. solani and F. oxysporum. Results from the Verndale site consistently showed significant treatment effects in the measured canopy radiometric parameters, and in the visual disease rating and yield (significant for seed treatment). Values of a simple ratio vegetation index from this site exhibited negative relationships with disease rating and F. oxysporum CFU, and a positive linear relationship with yield. Treatment effects were generally not significant at the Staples site because of low initial F. oxysporum populations. The results indicate that remote sensing is potentially a rapid, nondestructive means for assessment of root rot diseases in soybean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Mel Wiens and Becki Sheets for general assistance in the field experiment. We are also very grateful to grants from the North Harvest Bean Growers, the University of Minnesota North Central Partnership, and Rapid Agricultural Response Funds.


  • F. oxysporum
  • F. solani
  • Fusarium root rot
  • Spectral reflectance
  • Vegetation index


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