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Management Recommendations, Scouting for Fall Corn Diseases


As the 2017 growing season comes to an end, agronomists and farmers are reminded to scout for stalk and ear rots of corn as harvest nears. According to Alison Robertson, professor and extension crop plant pathologist at Iowa State University, stalk rots may be more prevalent this year, due to the stressful growing season across most of Iowa.ear of corn with Gibberella ear rot

So far, Robertson has started seeing some anthracnose and Fusarium stalk rot, along with some Gibberella and Fusarium ear rot. While Robertson believes the moisture that Iowa has received over the past two weeks has likely mitigated some risk, she recommends farmers and agronomists begin scouting now.

“Farmers should start scouting for ear and stalk rots from approximately the one-half milk line and onwards,” said Robertson. “If 10 percent or more of plants in the field are affected, they should think about scheduling an earlier harvest.”

To help farmers and agronomists identify, scout and manage corn diseases, a new Corn Diseases booklet, published by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, is now available to crop producers and industry professionals. The up-to-date publication provides current recommendations for management, along with identification and scouting information. Also included are illustrated disease cycles for primary diseases, a foliar disease estimation chart and corn growth and development and staging information.corn disease publication cover image

“We update these publications every so often to make sure they remain current with new information and to increase the usefulness to farmers and ag business personnel,” said Adam Sisson, extension specialist for the Integrated Pest Management Program at Iowa State. “The revised Corn Diseases publication includes many new images and updated disease listings such as bacterial leaf streak and tar spot.”

The Corn Diseases publication is available to purchase online at the Extension Store. A hard copy of the publication costs $5; boxed quantities of 50 for a reduced price of $3.50 per publication also is available. Printable downloads are $2.50 each.

Source: Alison Robertson, Daren Mueller and Adam Sisson, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach