Frogeye leaf spot (FLS) of soybean, caused by Cercospora sojina, has been a problem in the southern United States for many years but has become an increasing problem in the northern United States more recently, causing significant yield losses. This increase in disease severity in the northern United States has been attributed to increased utilization of no-till planting and changes in climate. A field study was conducted at the University of Tennessee, Research and Education Center in Milan, TN from 2007 to 2010 to determine severity in tilled and no-till plots treated with or without fungicide at R3 and R5 growth stages. Three FLS-susceptible cultivars, one each in Maturity Groups III, IV, and V, were treated with pyraclostrobin (Headline) fungicide. Analysis of variance using the area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) indicated no significant difference (P ≤ 0.05) in disease severity between tilled and no-till plots without fungicide. Fungicide did not significantly reduce disease under no-till, but did under tilled plots. This is the first study showing that no-till plots did not reduce or enhance the severity of FLS when no fungicide was applied. Fungicide application significantly reduced (P ≤ 0.05) disease severity and AUDPC and increased yield in tilled plots. The yield gains in tilled, fungicide-treated plots ranged from 1 to 17%. When fungicide was applied, disease severity was not reduced as significantly in no-till as in treated tilled plots, suggesting that fungicide programs under a no-till system may require further study to minimize the risk of FLS severity.
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