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No-till cropping avoids the use of tillage for seedbed preparation or weed control, and crop residues left on the soil surface reduce soil erosion, minimize runoff, and increase soil moisture. No-till cropping has several advantages in terms of reduced crop production costs (fuel, labor, machinery) and soil conservation, but alterations to the biotic and abiotic environment in no-till compared to conventionally tilled fields provide unique challenges in terms of insect, weed, and disease management. The following provides recommendations for disease management in no-till corn but can be applied to other no-till cropping systems. Disease incidence and severity is not necessarily greater in no-till compared to conventional tillage, and in some cases disease may be reduced. Effects of no-till on diseases are variable and dependent on the specific pathogen, crop, and environment.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
February 7, 2014