Wallaces Farmer

'Bizzarro' corn disease appears

This corn disease is so new it doesn’t even have a name.

Gil Gullickson, editor of Wallaces Farmer

May 24, 2024

1 Min Read
new disease on corn leaf
IT’S BIZZARRO: Diagnosis is not yet complete, but this new corn disease is thought to be a fungal one that causes Diaporthe (formerly Phomopsis) seed decay in soybeans.Courtesy of FMC

As if you didn’t have enough to worry about, there’s a new corn disease that may be on the way. It’s so new that plant pathologists refer to it as the “Bizzarro corn disease.”

So far, it hasn’t been confirmed in Iowa. However, it’s been observed in Kentucky for four years.

“It’s so new it doesn’t have a name,” says Camille Lambert, an FMC technical services manager. “We at first thought it was a physiological response to stress, because it looks like a sunburn or sun scale. It has been identified as a pathogen. Diagnosis is not complete, but plant pathologists are fairly sure it is the same fungus that causes Diaporthe (formerly Phomopsis) seed decay in soybeans.”

So far, fungicides FMC has tested have great efficacy against the disease. Still, it’s questionable as to how yield limiting it is. So far, it is not prevalent in corn fields.

“You will see it more where there is greater air movement, such as in a skip in a field, says Lambert.

About the Author(s)

Gil Gullickson

editor of Wallaces Farmer, Farm Progress

Gil Gullickson grew up on a farm that he now owns near Langford, S.D., and graduated with an agronomy degree from South Dakota State University. Earlier in his career, he spent 13 years as a Farm Progress editor, covering Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Gullickson is a widely respected and decorated ag journalist, earning the Agricultural Communicators Network writing award for Writer of the Year three times, and winning Story of the Year four times. He is a past winner of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ Food and Agriculture Organization Award for Food Security. He has served as president of both ACN and the North American Agricultural Journalists.

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