Last year brought a perfect storm of conditions for northern corn leaf blight to hit Indiana fields and the disease did impact affected fields’ overall yield. The Director of Agronomic Services at Seed Consultants, Bill Mullen, says some high yielding hybrids are susceptible to it, and in 2014 the disease was worse than usual.
“The conditions were right, were conducive for northern corn leaf blight to affect these plants, these hybrids out there earlier than normal,” he told HAT. “Northern corn leaf blight usually ten days, two weeks after it tassels. The conditions were right for it to go ahead and infect that plant two weeks before that, so with some of these hybrids that we saw with that disease present more than in past years, yes it took an effect on yield. We had lower yield.”
Mullen says a farmer needs to talk to his seed rep and refer to seed guides so he knows if he has selected one of those susceptible hybrids.
“One of our best tools of information is our seed guide because we do give the ratings for the different diseases as well as agronomic characteristics of those hybrids. That’s the information we share with our customers when it comes to package or position them in customers’ fields, and both grey leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight do come from crop residue. It’s out there. The more we can bury the residue the better off we’ll be, but in minimum till situations, there residue is always close to the top, so if the conditions are right it could happen again next year.”
Mullen also talks about affects of compaction on yield, spring burndown and the good quality seed supply available this year in the various winter meetings the company is presenting. The remaining schedule is here.