Texas cotton growers now have a new tool to control cotton root rot, a devastating disease estimated to cause direct yield losses of as much as $40 million per year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted a Section 18 emergency exemption to Texas for TOPGUARD, a Cheminova, Inc. fungicide that targets the cotton root rot fungus. TOPGUARD, a triazole fungicide, is applied at planting and substantially reduces disease occurring later in the season, states Tom Isakeit, a Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service plant pathologist, who extensively tested its performance in field trials with his extension co-workers.
"In one of our TOPGUARD trials, we saw yield increases between 20 to 60 percent when cotton root rot was controlled."
– Tom Isakeit, Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service