Tom Allen, Mississippi Extension plant pathologist, has released an update on corn disease in the state.

“Increased observation of corn foliar diseases has occurred throughout the southern Delta over the past couple of weeks,” writes Allen. “Much of the corn south of Highway 82 has either started to tassel or will be tasseling in the next seven to 10 days.

“First and foremost, I can’t stress how important it is to determine the specific hybrid in each field. Knowing the particular disease package will help address whether or not a fungicide application might be beneficial. Most hybrids have good tolerance to foliar diseases; however, there are some in our corn production system that tend to be great yielders but have weak disease packages and may be predisposed to foliar diseases.

“Some defensive corn hybrids, with excellent disease packages, do a good job of keeping yield-limiting foliar diseases lower in the canopy (below the ear leaf) and only allow limited, single lesions to progress above the ear leaf.

“The more offensive hybrids, or ‘race horse’ hybrids, in most cases, have a weaker disease package and lesions can generally be observed all up and down the plant. Additional information regarding the general time of disease occurrence in corn can be found (here).”

Allen’s full disease report can be read here.