Horseradish is an important crop in the Midwest, with half of the total commercial horseradish supply of the United States grown in the Mississippi River Valley near East St. Louis, Illinois. It is a high-value cash crop. Fungi that are soil-borne and root stock-borne discolor horseradish roots and can render the entire crop unsellable.
U of I researcher Mohammad Babadoost found that subjecting the roots to hot water before planting was very effective in killing the pathogens in propagative root stocks. The treatment is a simple, safe, reliable, and cost-effective. The hot-water treatment of horseradish roots can be done using equipment and tools that are readily available to producers and requires no license, and it is environmentally safe because no chemicals are used. Plants grown from the treated root stocks can be protected in the fields by using fungicides.