Let’s talk corn diseases! As most of you are aware, looking around in the country there are more acres planted this year of corn, compared to the last few years. The timing was right to get the corn in the ground this year and so far, we have received rain at the right time.
Hopefully, these next few weeks are good to us and we receive more, as most of the corn is starting to tassel! Corn diseases annually reduce yield in the United States; in which, diseases of importance vary from year to year. The diseases that affect yield are based on several factors, including weather conditions, crop production practices, hybrid selection and susceptibility to disease.
The yield loss estimates include the following diseases, but are not limited to, root rots, seedling blights, foliar diseases, smuts, stalk rots and ear rots. A product’s efficacy depends on proper application timing, rate, and method as determined by the product label and overall disease level in the field at the time of application. Our fungicide of choice for mixed modes of action is 14 oz of Quilt Excel, which is an azoxystrobin and propiconazole; the benefits of applying will help control and prevent fungus. Quilt Excel on corn must be applied 30 days before harvesting.
As many of you know, the past few years we have tested for the common mycotoxin Aflatoxin, here at the elevator. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxin produced by the fungus called Aspergillus Flavus. The fungus can be recognized by a gray-green or yellow-green mold growing on corn kernels in the field or in storage. Plant stress due to drought, heat or insect damage during fungus growth usually increases aflatoxin levels. Be sure to be on the lookout for common insects in the corn also, such as spider mites and corn ear worms, which can reduce the yield of corn especially during stressful weather conditions.
We will have services available to you to apply fungicide on corn using aerial applications. If you have any questions or concerns on your corn, please get with a member of the PAC agronomy team and we would be happy to discuss the options we have available, as well as help in scouting for issues in your crops.