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Corn tar spot pressure expected to amplify

A plant pathologist is recommending farmers start to scout for signs of early lodging caused by corn tar spot.

“If you’ve got a reasonable number of plants infected in the field, that can explode very quickly and potentially result in stalk quality issues.”

Michigan State University’s Marty Chilvers says while tar spot outbreaks have been limited in part because of the dry growing season, it’s been known to explode later in the year.

“We really see rapid disease progression in August and September and part of that is build-up of the disease in the field, too.”

Other factors increasing the risk of tar spot include more leaf wetness with increased chances of dew and fog in the morning along with shorter days and longer nights.

Chilvers highlighted his research on corn tar spot as part of Wednesday’s MSU Virtual Corn Field Day.

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