Bacterial soft rot (Erwinia carotovora)
It is one of the most important diseases. Its symptoms include water soaked tissue and muddy-green or greasy appearance of leaves. Rapid decay occurs and the tissue becomes wet and mushy. This bacterium is found in the soil and in plant debris. It can enter into the plant through mechanical injury, insect injury, disease lesions and other skin punctures.
- Practise rotation with maize, beans, small grains and grasses.
- Care at harvesting and handling to avoid bruising.
- A storage temperature just above freezing (0 degC) and a relative humidity below 90% does much to reduce soft rot losses.
- Storage rooms, dump tanks and boxes should be disinfected each season with copper sulphate.