Eagle-eyed agronomists and researchers in Ontario’s southern corn growing region have identified what they believe is tar spot, a disease that can reduce corn yields by 40 bushels an acre.
The fungal disease has been steadily moving north out of the U.S., and researchers here have been anticipating the find for some time. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs plant pathologist Albert Tenuta tweeted on September 22:
Gold stars to Jonathon Brinkman w/@cropdoc2 for finding these early yesterday @RidgetownCampus and @Kris_VanRaay @FeasbyRyan Haggerty Creek @SCSAgronomy for other. Leaf symptoms, fungal morphology indicate tar spot. Waiting on DNA confirmation. Good time to scout! #Ontag #Tarspot pic.twitter.com/LJccAhIo72
— Albert Tenuta (@AlbertTenuta) September 22, 2020
RealAgriculture’s Bern Tobin and Ontario research and extension staff have been covering the disease for some time. Learn more about identification, yield impact, management and more here:
- Corn School: Tracking tar spot’s march north
- Ontario Diagnostic Day 2: Tackling plant disease and yield-robbing pests
- Corn School: Distinguishing tar sport from common rust