Southern rust in corn has been confirmed in two Arkansas counties and growers are being urged to scout their fields.

“Southern rust was confirmed in southern Phillips County and on the northern edge of Woodruff County near Tupelo,” said Scott Monfort, Arkansas Extension plant pathologist.

“The disease is occurring in low levels and is being found in the lower part of the canopy. Southern rust is steadily increasing in Mississippi and Louisiana. I expect the disease to continue to develop and spread.”

Monfort said it’s important for growers and consultants to scout now for southern rust and other diseases before making a fungicide application.

Afflicted corn will show rust-colored circular pustules on all plant parts, with the leaves showing the most spots.

“We strongly advise that a suspicious corn rust samples be sent to the Plant Health Clinic in Lonoke, Ark., to verify whether it is common rust or southern rust.

“If you are at early silking and have no disease, try to wait until brown silk before applying fungicide so that you lengthen you protection window against southern rust.”

Other leaf diseases growers should be scouting now include gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight.

For more information about rust control, contact your county Extension office, or call Monfort at (870) 659-0648.