Agronomist urges farmers to review corn genetics, spraying times before 2022

An agronomist says he is seeing how different genetics in corn are making a difference when it comes to fighting diseases.  Bob Berkovich is with Pioneer in Wisconsin. He says, “Gray leaf spot or northern leaf blight, anthracnose, tar spot, all of the above, one thing we’re seeing is that maybe some of the most dramatic genetic differences out there are tar spot tolerance.”

Berkovich tells Brownfield along with genetics, fungicide applications can help manage tar spot but farmers might have to look at applying after the traditional July application times in years like this where heavy moisture arrived in August. “I think it was a little too late to have an epidemic of gray leaf spot and northern leaf blight but those August rains did provide the environment that we needed for tar spot to really ramp up.”

Berkovich says just like in 2018, he again saw how tar spot spread rapidly after late-season rains and that this disease is changing how farmers select hybrids and manage their growing corn crop.

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