Diseases challenge stalk integrity as corn harvest begins

An agronomist in northwest Missouri says stalk integrity is a concern as corn harvest begins and producers might want to harvest most of their corn in September.

Erin Marlow with Cropwise Consulting tells Brownfield tar spot was widespread and the fields that have it also have stalk rot.

“There’s also some anthracnose, crown rot and just the amount of plant disease out there it seems like the tar spot is just so aggressive on the plant that the stalk quality is going down.”

She says the situation is especially concerning for the fields that didn’t get a fungicide application.

“They’re kind of melting out there, literally on a daily basis they’re falling apart and you can imagine if we saw a wind or rain event we’d see a lot of corn on the ground.”

She says there are noticeable differences for the corn harvested in fields that received multiple fungicide applications for tar spot, including better yield, test weight and a higher moisture content in the grain.

Photo credit: Erin Marlow

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