This summer's hot weather could bring down soybean yields for some farmers.
Iowa State University extension is alerting farmers that hot, dry conditions are what the disease charcoal rot waits for. Daren Mueller, an ISU extension plant pathologist, says once it attacks, there's little a farmer can do.
"At this point it's more of trying to scout and figure out what fields would have that pathogen in it to make decisions in future years," he says, "the next time you planted soybeans."
He says the presence of charcoal rot may be one consideration in making planting decisions in the future, though other factors may weigh more heavily as charcoal rot is not an annual problem. Even though there's no remedy for this season's crop, Mueller says scouting now and understanding whether charcoal rot has done damage can help later when a farmer looks back at the season.
"The most beneficial thing would be to, if you have a lower yield, it would sort of help to explain why," he says, "part of that might be because of this disease."