Hot & Humid = Corn Disease Pressure
This year’s planting season took off quick and didn’t stop. Much like planting, the crops have emerged rapidly and have had some great growing conditions. While we are thankful for the change in pace compared to last year, it also means disease will be very prevalent this year. Some major corn leaf diseases have already been found in both Northern and Southern parts of Ohio. The two main ones we have seen are Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) and Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB).
Main Diseases Found This Mid June-July
Northern Corn Leaf Blight
This disease is favored by heavy dews, frequent showers, high humidity, and moderate temperatures. It can also start by residue from previous crops. Lesions appear in a long cigar shape and are usually gray or tan. Yield losses are more likely if the disease infects the corn early. We have seen several cases of NCLB early this year, so please be on the lookout for this disease. Especially in low tolerance corn hybrids.
Gray Leaf Spot
GLS is a disease of high residue farming and builds up in corn over time. It appears on the lower leaves first, but in hot and humid weather, it can spread to upper leaves quickly. These lesions are rectangular and will appear gray when they mature. To accurately identify GLS, remember that the lesions will stay in between the leaf’s veins. Extended periods of wetness on the leaves increases infection. If significant area is lost before grain fill is complete, yield loss will be greater. There are hybrids that have better tolerance to GLS and our Associate Partners would be happy to check hybrid rates for you.
Take Control of Disease and Get Better Yields
Disease is something to check for every year, but because of this year’s weather conditions, we predict to see a lot more disease pressure. The stands we have seen so far look impressive, so it is important to keep them healthy everyday for maximum yield potential. Fungicides are great management strategies for disease. Not only do they prevent and stop disease from spreading, but they also benefit plant health and harvestability. Please don’t hesitate to speak to us about products, rates, and timing on your fungicide applications.