Research scientists and Extension specialists are learning more about Target spot in cotton. “Here’s what we know," says University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture plant pathologist Heather Kelly: "Fungus survives on cotton debris; infection depends on variety and location; yield loss can be 150 pounds of lint per acre or more; higher losses are more likely as yield increases; target spot develops after canopy closure; and late planted cotton is at lower risk."
She says symptoms differ from bacterial blight but confusion may be possible without close observation. "Boll rot is the main yield loss mechanism of bacterial blight, while target spot causes defoliation that has been correlated to yield loss," she said.
“Bacterial blight has had a minimal impact on yield so far in Tennessee,” Kelly said, “with little boll rot being observed so far.”
Here are images that show symptoms for each disease. (Images courtesy of University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.)
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