Stalk Rot Becoming an Indiana Harvest Issue

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Late Corn stands questionable

Antracnose leaf blightStandability. It is becoming a concern of Indiana corn growers, and in the newest HAT video you can see why. Agronomist Bill Mullen found disease in a Grant County corn field, right near Marion, and it raises the question of how long plants in that field will be able to stand.

“We’re seeing some of these plants that are showing this copper type of color and this is basically anthracnose leaf blight. It came in late this year and started at the bottom and worked its way up. There are spores on these leaves that later on in the season will go ahead and attach themselves to the stalk, work itself into the stalk. From anthracnose leaf blight, we’ll have anthracnose stalk rot.”

He says you won’t want those plants standing until late October when they’ll fall to the ground and you will lose ears. So Mullen’s advice is walk fields now to get a good idea of what issues might dictate when you harvest.

Bill Mullen SCI“Some of these fields have some insect issues, corn borer and corn earworm,” he said. “We’ve got anthracnose leaf blight that’s going to anthracnose stalk rot. The other thing is that some of these plants are just hanging on. Some have very good plant health. These are factors that you need to keep in mind when you’re out walking your fields, because the goal right now the way this year is, try to save every ear that we can. Get more in the tank of that combine than laying out in the field.”

See the anthracnose, varying yields in corn fields based on their planting date, and a pretty good looking soybean field, all with Mullen’s observations, in the HAT video. Mullen is Director of Agronomic Services for Seed Consultants Inc.