Fusarium appears in New Mexico peanuts EASTERN New Mexico peanut producers saw something this season they have not seen before, fusarium wilt.

Veteran Roosevelt County cooperative Extension agent Floyd McAlister said a classic fusarium symptom - leaf edge browning - can be mistaken for salt damage.

"It is fusarium. When the plant is infected, it stops growing - shuts down," he said. The result is lost yields.

"We have seen verticillium here in the past, but this is the first time we have seen fusarium, " he said, pointing out that the disease has been confirmed by New Mexico State University plant pathologists.

McAlister believes the disease is a result of a long 60-day dry spell and high temperatures last summer.

"Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about it other than rotate out of peanuts for at least a year where you have the disease," he said, suggesting that the a fibrous root crop be planted where fusarium is suspected.

"It is a serious problem. We have seen 70 percent losses this season," he said.