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Tar spot management critical with wet conditions prevalent

A technical agronomist says conditions have been favorable for the development of tar spot in corn fields.

Channel’s Derek Whalen says the disease thrives in wet conditions with high humidity. “Unfortunately, with all the stress we’ve been dealing with so far in the Midwest with excess moisture, lots of replant situations, and drowned out areas, all that moisture has also helped to promote the growth and development of tar spot.”

He tells Brownfield scouting will be critical for growers heading into the summer months. “As you’re walking your cornfields, look in the upper and lower canopy as well as in the middle of the canopy. But just be looking for what’s really black specks of a tar like substance.”

Whalen says applying a fungicide with multiple modes of action can help manage tar spot. “That vegetative tassel R1 growth stage is when we’ve seen the biggest bang for your buck.”

He says another method is planting hybrids that are more tolerant to the disease.

AUDIO: Tar Spot Management with Channel technical agronomist Derek Whalen

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