Ohio State University experts will offer in-depth training on fungicide application, genetic resistance thresholds and other soybean disease topics at a series of soybean disease identification workshops this spring, summer and fall.

Soybean growers, agronomists, retailers and other agriculture professionals will have the opportunity to identify live plant diseases in order to better prepare them to scout fields this year, said Alan Sundermeier, an Ohio State University Extension educator and workshop co-organizer.

The workshops take place at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center's Northwest Agricultural Research Station. They include presentations on Ohio State soybean population research, using cereal rye cover crops, cultural practices to improve yield, northwest Ohio soybean diseases, genetic disease resistance, thresholds and fungicide use, and future soybean disease issues.

"The workshops use plants grown in a greenhouse to allow participants to view the plants up close to look at the disease symptoms," Sundermeier said. "It's one thing to see a photo of a diseased plant, but it's another thing to hold it and inspect it. That will lead to better identification next summer in the fields."

Workshops held during the growing season will include in-field demonstrations.

Live-plant demonstrations will help growers make better decisions on their farms when faced with these challenges, said Anne Dorrance, a plant pathologist with OSU Extension and OARDC, and workshop presenter. She will discuss genetic disease resistance, pathogen biology and thresholds, and fungicide use.

"The science is changing and the industry is changing," she said. "Growers and other agriculture professionals have to keep up to date."

The first workshop, held Feb. 14, is full, and dates have not yet been finalized for the remaining workshops. Growers can get more information about the events as well as fungicide application, genetic resistance thresholds and other information related to soybean disease by contacting Sundermeier (419-354-9050, sundermeier.5@osu.edu) or Dorrance (330-202-3560 dorrance.1@osu.edu).