Southern blightCaused by: Sclerotium rolfsii
Problem Category: Fungal Disease
Symptoms: Sudden wilting of leaves; yellowing foliage; browning stem above and below soil; browning branches; stem may be covered with fan-like mycelial mat.
Comments: Fungus can survive in soil for long periods; disease emergence favored by high temperatures, high humidity and acidic soil; disease found mainly in tropical and subtropical regions, including the southern United States.
Management: Remove infected plants; avoid overcrowding plants to promote air circulation; rotate crops with less susceptible plants; plow crop debris deep into soil; provide a barrier to infection by wrapping lower stems of plant with aluminum foil covering below ground portion of stem and 2-3 in above soil line.
Control: Spray 3% panchgavya to control the blight symptoms