If you’ve noticed increasing levels of northern corn leaf blight in some of your fields, it could be that the hybrids you’re planting don’t have the right gene to resist infection. That’s because the pathogen has evolved to bypass some of the older sources of resistance, says Albert Tenuta, field crop pathologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Never fear, though, as Tenuta explains ensuring your corn hybrids can resist northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) infection simply requires some homework on your part, and then some in-season scouting to ensure you’re protecting the corn crop.
In this episode of the Corn School, Tenuta tackles the hybrid selection question plus more on managing NCLB — like at what growth stage a fungicide application provides the most consistent payback. He also explains how to monitor the disease in a long, drawn out growing season like 2014, how to tell if infection is coming from your own field or in the air (hint: is the disease only on new leaves?), and whether or not it pays to protect $3 corn.
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