Tar Spot and Southern Rust confirmed in southern Illinois

A certified crop advisor says Tar Spot and Southern Rust have both been confirmed in southern Illinois corn fields.

Kelly Robertson with Precision Crop Services tells Brownfield while Southern Rust is not uncommon in his coverage area, he is surprised to see it since there haven’t been many storms or winds coming from the south.

“With the weather pattern being cool, dry, no storms coming through, and that wind kind of blowing the smoke in from the Canadian wildfires from the East, we expected it to get here eventually, but it hasn’t been in the traditional way.”

On the other hand, he says the confirmation of Tar Spot is consistent with recent winds from the northeast and increased moisture on the leaves.

“In the last two to three weeks, the humidity has come up and we’ve gotten substantial rains across most of the area, so leaf wetness from dew in the mornings is more common.”

He says they are only seeing mild, isolated cases of both diseases so far and if yield is impacted in those fields, it will be difficult to determine if it was caused by disease or drought stress during pollination.  

Robertson says not much can be done at this point in the season from a management standpoint. He recommends scouting to confirm disease pressure and if it’s significant, consider another fungicide application before the R5 growth stage.

Robertson says so far Tar Spot has been confirmed in White County and Southern Rust has been found in Franklin, Hamilton, Saline and Perry counties.

Featured Photos provided by Precision Crop Services

Audio: Interview with Kelly Robertson

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