Tar spot pressure lighter this year, but still a long way to go

Photo Courtesy of University of Illinois Crop Sciences

A Midwest agronomist says there has been less detection of corn tar spot so far this season.

Cory Muhlbauer with Precision Planting tells Brownfield the weather has played a big role.

“So far, we are getting just enough dry weather in between rains to hold it back, on a general scale. The pockets where farmers are receiving more rain or more frequent rain, they need to be on higher alert for establishment of tar spot.”

But he says since the crop is later maturing this year, the fact that there is not significant disease establishment yet, doesn’t mean farmers are in the clear.

“We’ve got a long way to go. It takes 60 days to fill and finish out the kernels on corn before we are all the way through it. So, we have to keep an eye open for at least another 40 days or so. A good chunk of yield comes from that grain fill and grain depth here at the end of the season.”

Muhlbauer says tar spot has plagued Michigan, Indiana and Ohio the last couple of seasons and continues to spread with traces of it in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri. 

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