With late planting and slow maturity, much of Ontario’s corn crop may be in for a challenge as leaf diseases arrive in fields across the province.
In this episode of RealAgriculture Corn School, we catch up with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Rood and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) field pathologist Albert Tenuta in his leaf disease nursery at Ridgetown College, University of Guelph. Tenuta explains that in growing seasons like 2017, which include delayed planting, wet conditions and cooler temperatures, leaf disease such as northern corn leaf blight often develop later in the season.
“Whenever we run into those situations we will often see more diseases start to develop later in the season,” says Tenuta. This also leads to more potential for stalk rots as well as standability and mould issues in the corn crop.
Given the circumstances, could fungicides be more beneficial in a year like 2017?
Growers sometimes forgo a fungcide application in backward seasons because they don’t want the late-maturing crop to create harvest delays, nor do they want to combine higher-moisture corn that requires extra drying charges. But Tenuta says fungicide application typically pays in these cases with growers benefiting from the improved late-season health as harvest gets stretched out through November.
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