Target spot confirmed on cotton in four Arkansas counties - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Target spot confirmed on cotton in four Arkansas counties

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LONOKE - A disease that can strip cotton plants of their leaves has been confirmed in four Arkansas counties.

Target spot, or Corynespora leaf spot, has been found in Craighead, Mississippi, Poinsett and Woodruff counties, according to Travis Faske, extension plant pathologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Target spot is a fungal disease that affects cucumbers, sweet potatoes, soybeans and tomatoes, in addition to cotton. In cotton, it forms a brick red lesion that can grow to between one-quarter and one inch wide. The lesions have concentric circles and look like a target.

The wet conditions in northeastern Arkansas have likely encouraged growth of the disease.

"A few fields in Craighead County had 10 percent defoliation in the lower canopy in areas of the field with the highest disease severity," he said, adding the infection probably won't cause yield loss.

However, where the disease has been reported in Alabama and Georgia, fields with 50 to 75 percent defoliation early in the growing season had yield losses of 100 to 200 pounds of lint per acre. The disease occurs earlier in the season in other areas of the southeastern U.S. 

Faske said the extent of the disease's presence in Arkansas isn't yet known and any samples should be sent to the Plant Health Clinic in Fayetteville or to your county extension office.

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