How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Sugarbeet

Erwinia Soft Rot

Pathogen: Erwinia betavasculorum

(Reviewed 11/05, updated 11/05)

In this Guideline:


SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

The disease is not easy to detect until the rot is well advanced. The vascular tissue of the root becomes discolored and a pinkish to red brown rot develops. Root symptoms vary from a soft rot to a dry rot; the root may become hollow without dying. As the disease progresses, plants wilt. Occasionally brown, oozing lesions occur on petioles and crown.

COMMENTS ON THE DISEASE

Erwinia soft rot can cause serious damage. Disease potential is greatest when temperatures are in the range of 77° to 86°F (25° to 30°C). The bacterium is soilborne and infects plants if infested soil gets into the beet crown from dirty farm machinery, splashing water, insects, or other means. It invades the plant through an injury or wound to the crown or leaves and enters the vascular vessels of the root and petioles.

MANAGEMENT

Beet varieties vary widely in their resistance or susceptibility to this pathogen. Commercial varieties in California are tested for soft-rot resistance: whenever possible, use resistant varieties. Excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer encourage Erwinia. Use the minimum amount of fertilizer necessary to achieve yield goals. Follow cultural practices that promote good soil structure. Avoid throwing soil and plant debris into beet crowns during cultivation, and adjust implements to minimize injury to crown and tops.

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Sugarbeet
UC ANR Publication 3469

Diseases

S. Kaffka, Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis
T. A. Turini, UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
W.M. Wintermantel, USDA-ARS, Salinas
Acknowledgement for contributions to Diseases:
R. T. Lewellen, USDA, Salinas
C. A. Frate, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County

Top of page


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/r735101111.html revised: January 8, 2014. Contact webmaster.