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Management recommendations, scouting for fall corn diseases

Gibberella ear rot-Alison Robertson copy
New Corn Diseases publication from ISU Extension and Outreach

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.

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 beginning 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.

“We update these publications every so often to make sure they remain up to date 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 University. “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, but you also have the option to order it in boxed quantities of 50 for a reduced price of $3.50 per publication. Printable downloads are $2.50 each.


To stay updated on where specialists are seeing crop diseases, insects and weeds across Iowa, visit ICM Blog, and look to ICM News for management recommendations based on current conditions.

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