Tar spot back in the spotlight


Wet, humid conditions can cause corn diseases to advance quickly. The usual suspects are always a concern: Northern corn leaf blight, gibberella ear rot, and more, but a new-to-Ontario disease, tar spot, has been harder to predict when it comes to threat level.

In 2022, early indications showed the disease was present but a dry canopy and persistent dry conditions meant a major infestation never materialized.

This year, however, Dr. Albert Tenuta, plant pathologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says that conditions are very favourable for tar spot advancement and farmers and agronomists should be out and doing a diligent job of scouting.

Tenuta says that corn fungicide decisions are usually focused on green silk-timing, and that works well for many of the disease threats, including tar spot. He joined RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney earlier this week to discuss what growers could expect as the season unfolds. Watch the interview below:

See Related: Corn School: Timing tar spot fungicide applications

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