UPDATE: Southern Corn Rust

Southern corn rust June 7, 2014

Southern corn rust June 7, 2014

I have been finding Southern Rust in many area corn fields the last several days. The picture included shows Southern rust in a field that was sprayed with a fungicide 10 days prior. Southern rust is an aggressive disease and we have a long time to maturity/black layer of our corn crops. Several of these fields were just pollinating; this means we have 50 days or more until maturity.

Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist, recently issued the following update:

  • SOUTHERN CORN RUST is early this year.
  • Southern corn rust is our most important disease of corn.
  • Rain is in the forecast, which will be favorable for development of rust.
  • I think that corn that is approaching (or has passed) the tassel growth stage is worth protecting if the yield potential is there. I generally would wait to spray for southern rust until your crop is approaching tassel.
  • Triazole fungicides (like tebuconazole) are effective against rust (but lack the broader activity against northern corn leaf blight) and have a two week protective window.  Strobilurin products and combination strobilurin/triazole of strobilurin/SDHI (Priaxor) have 3 week protective intervals and also a broader spectrum of activity.
  • Northern corn leaf blight is generally in check this year.

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