The most common Root Rots are: 

  • Pythium;
  • Rhizoctonia;
  • Fusarium Root and Crown; and
  • Take-All.

These all derive from fungi which are soil-borne and are easily transferred to the root systems of susceptible plants. Similar to Leaf Complex, there may be more than one Root Rot infecting host plants at any given time.

What are the Risks?

Spores are quickly spread by wind, water, cultivation and infected seed. Symptoms may go unnoticed or mistaken for an environmental or pesticide damage problem. Root Rots attack most cereal crops in the same fashion and reduce tillers and seed size which reduces yield and quality of grain.

Watch for insight into the life cycles of two root-rotting pathogens: Pythium Root Rot and Rhizoctonia Root Rot

What to Look For                                                                          

   Root Rot damage

                                    Root Rot damage

   Root Rot head damage           Root Rot oat head damage

Root Rot head damage in wheat       Take-All Root Rot in oats


Some of the strategic methods you can take in the prevention or reduction in the effects of the Root Rots are to:

  • Avoid soil compaction;
  • Maintain good fertility;
  • Utilize crop rotation away from susceptible plants every two years;
  • Seed into warm soil to promote even germination and emergence;
  • Avoid placing seed too deep; and
  • Treat seed properly and according to manufacturer's specifications.

Related Links

Barley Common Root Rot

Diagnosis of Common Root Rot