crop diseases

Corn disease declines in corn belt, spreads to new areas

Oct 10, 2013
cornfield
Peter Blanchard / Flickr

The dry conditions of the past two growing seasons may have frustrated many Missouri corn farmers, but it may have had at least one positive effect on their crop. A corn disease that peaked in 2011 has been on the wane.

Until recently, Goss’s Wilt was confined to eastern Colorado and western Nebraska. Then, beginning in 2008, it moved eastward, infecting farms across the corn belt. Iowa State University plant pathologist Alison Robertson says modern hybrid corn varieties may be to blame for the resurgence. 

USDA

The University of Missouri Extension is warning that recent wet weather increases the chances of diseases developing in corn and soybeans.

Agronomy specialist Jill Scheidt says rain carries funguses in the air, making it easier for the funguses to spread. She says diseases like rust, gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, brown spot, crazy top and stalk and ear rots develop best in wet and humid conditions.