Watch for southern rust in corn

A plant pathologist with University of Missouri Extension says southern rust has been confirmed earlier than usual in corn.

Mandy Bish tells Brownfield the disease favors high humidity and warmer-than-usual environments.

“I’d be on the lookout and the management recommendations are similar to tar spot.”

She says fungicide applications are import for this yield-reducing disease. And Bish says southern rust is becoming more common each year.

“The pathogen can live in Missouri in the winter and it can reproduce quickly. The catch is southern rust has a doppelganger, common rust, and we have genetics to protect against that disease. A lot of our corn has resistance to common rust, but not southern rust.”

Bish says for more information on southern rust and other crop diseases farmers, click here.

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