To many, science can seem like magic. Abracadabra and *whoosh* something appears seemingly out of thin air. However mystical and misunderstood science can be, it is not magic. It is science. As such, things cannot be manifested out of nothing.

“But Chelsea, why on earth are you talking about science and magic?”

Simply put, I want to spin you a cautionary tale that may be more familiar than you realize. The tale is that of fungicides and disease management in soybean.

title of article in a graphic form

It’s never too early to think about plant diseases!

There are few sure things in this great wide world of ours. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, gravity holds us down to the earth, and living things are susceptible to pests and pathogens. 

When you put your beans out in the field, there are numerous plant diseases than can wreak havoc in your field. However, the incidence and severity of a disease can be highly variable, and management can be tricky. 

a dead soybean plant

It is no secret that things are... not normal right now in the world. It is also no secret that the agricultural clock does not stop because of a pandemic.  

That being said, we think it is important that you know that the University of Illinois Plant Clinic remains open! Yes, you read that correctly. The Plant Clinic is OPEN! As spring flowers being to pop, trees start sprouting leaves, and seeds are sown into the ground, you may still send plant, insect, and soil samples to the Plant Clinic.  

aerial view of a combine harvesting corn

Planting season is right around the corner! With any hope, things will go much smoother this year than last year (although that's not a very high bar to pass). 

Continue to keep an eye on the weather! This includes not only what is going on in your area, but also monitoring the snowpack and melt in the upper Midwest and into Canada. This can greatly influence the water table and planting in Illinois.