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More tar spot is being reported

A plant pathologist says he’s getting more reports of corn tar spot.

Dr. Damon Smith with the University of Wisconsin tells Brownfield more farmers are calling in tar spot reports. “Over the last week or so, it has slowed, the progression has slowed a little bit compared to 2021 so I think we’re going to be somewhere in terms of final disease severity somewhere between 2020 and 2021.”

Smith expects there will be some yield reductions on some of the more susceptible hybrids, and some of the hybrids with more resistance might come through without any issues, but he says farmers need to scout often. “Now that we’re coming up on silage, I hope folks are paying attention as we start silage harvest because we know that this fungus can really dry the crop down quick, and so harvest order is going to be really important with silage as we get into the next couple of weeks.”

Smith says if tar spot is climbing up the canopy rapidly, farmers will be better off harvesting a little early and drying the corn than losing yield to down cornstalks. Smith says their free Tarspotter smart phone app helps farmers determine when risk is high for the disease.

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