Tar spot a concern amid 23’ drought

An extension agronomist says tar spot will be a concern this growing season despite the abnormally dry conditions.

Meaghan Anderson is with Iowa State University. “We do know that this tar spot doesn’t necessarily need rainfall,” she said. “It just needs free moisture available on those corn leaves.”

She tells Brownfield timing up fungicide applications can be tricky.

“The unfortunate thing is it could start coming in next week and maybe not do anything because we are very hot and dry,” she said. “Or it could come in three or four weeks later, and if the weather conditions are right, it could blow up and be a substantial concern.”

Anderson suggests producers should invest more time scouting fields to help detect the disease. Tar spot can develop during cool temperatures with high humidity and extended hours of dew at night.

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