There has been Stem Canker spotted in soybean fields in Person and Granville Counties. The first symptoms of stem canker are dead plants with dried leaves still attached to the petioles late in the season. Initial symptoms typically appear on the lower third of the stem shortly before flowering. The lesions start small reddish brown spots at the base of the branch and petiole and the expand to form slightly sunken cankers. Stem Canker also can cause top dieback by forming a dark brown cankers on the upper 4 to 6 internodes which kills only the top of the plant. Causes of stem canker are fungi surviving in residue and the soil for several years. seed can be infected. Several weeds can be hosts black night shade, morning glory, curly dock and others. Yield loss can be 50% or worse on susceptible soybean cultivars. Management is by planting resistant cultivars. Rotation into non host crops may reduce the amount of inoculum. Scout your fields and if you suspect a problem contact your local North Carolina Cooperative Extension Office.