LUBBOCK, Texas — A new cotton disease has made its way into Texas and the effect it can have on crops can be devastating.
FOV4 stands for Fusarium Oxysporum Vasinfectum, and the “4” is the race or type of disease. It is a fungi that causes necrosis on the root system of the plant which makes the tissue of the plant die.
It clots the water and nutrient transport causing wilting, that is the above ground symptom if the plant manages to survive. The soil born root pathogen is highly aggressive and was discovered in El Paso, Texas in 2017.
Other states, including California, have been affected with this aggressive disease and are struggling to manage it and fully understand the impact.
Dr. Cecilia Monclova-Santana said the type found in the El Paso Valley is different from the type found in California and believes it came from a different source.
“So what we are trying to do above all things is to contain the disease in just the El Paso area,” Monclova-Santana said. “So we are telling all of our growers that if they limit the sharing of equipment and if they want to share it then clean it very well before moving it to other areas because it can be transported in the soil.”
Particles can be transferred from the tires or any part of farm equipment that can accumulate soil, she said. Cleaning the equipment is the best preventative method. Washing farm equipment with Clorox or soap and water will help keep it from transferring to other fields.
There are different races of this fungal disease already in West Texas. If you suspect a field is diseased contact Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service so they can examine the field and work on containment.