Corn School: Harvest quickly to limit losses to gibberella

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If you’re noticing a little fuzzy trouble with your corn crop this year — you’re not alone. With rainfall after rainfall at pollination (but not before!), the weather created perfect conditions for gibberella infection and spread.

If you’ve scouted your corn crop and have found pink mould growth at the tip of the cob, chances are you have it, however, there is some good news, as Peter ‘Wheat Pete’ Johnson, says, “Not to panic!”

In this episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn school, Wheat Pete takes a step out of the wheat field and explains what the fungus is all about.

Johnson says the corn crop in Ontario was certainly dry leading up to pollination, so most didn’t think to spray a fungicide. But then most regretted not spraying for disease, as the rains came right when the corn started to pollinate, creating perfect conditions for gibberella development. Of note this year, it’s silk channel infection, not western bean cutworm damage, that is causing most of the issues.

The first sign you’ll come across are sprouted kernels, Johnson says, as it effects the hormone balance from within. Johnson says the longer the disease grows, the more toxin it creates especially with the humid and damp weather Ontario has been experiencing. In order to avoid squishy corn at harvest, he says to take it off the field as soon as you can.

Click here for more Corn School episodes.

One thought on “Corn School: Harvest quickly to limit losses to gibberella

  1. I plant corn in 20 inch rows ,have a modified corn head with slow gathering chains,independent cross auger hydraulic driven everything is set tight and field speed is fast stalks stay up leaving ground exposed,in spring I plant 20 inch row soys no till 10 inches offset all tires run on corn stalks, they break down and are gone by harvest the centre earth is dry to plant in,important on clay soils this system has been working for 15 plus years, have not missed on a soy crop yet

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