Tar spot is intensifying in the ECB, expanding in the WCB

An agronomist says outbreaks of tar spot are getting worse across parts of the Corn Belt.

Trey Stephens with Beck’s tells Brownfield the disease has intensified in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio even though those states have had drier growing conditions this year. “We know about the heavy corn production acres and, of course with higher rain fall amounts, and then in some places having relative high humidity and moderate temperatures.”

He says cases are on the rise in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska.  “And, now it stays in the residues and with the custom harvesting that goes on and occurs.  It doesn’t surprise me that it moves across the Midwest in the heavy corn production areas.”  

Stephens covers Southeast Nebraska and says cases in his state have been mild so far. “Often times I’ve seen it in spots where there is gray leaf spot that is also present in the field.  That shows us that it is in an area where it’s susceptible to disease.”

He says farmers should continue to scout for symptoms of tar spot, apply fungicides and rotate crops and varieties.

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