Concern for Anthracnose Stalk Rot
With the abundance of rain in areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin coupled with higher than average temperatures, growers should be concerned about Anthracnose Stalk Rot. Scout your fields when able and check your stalks for the disease characteristics.
Anthracnose Stalk Rot
- Anthracnose stalk rot is a fungal disease that attacks the pith tissue in corn plants. It can have a significant effect on stalk quality during the harvest season.
- The pathogen overwinters on corn residue, compounding the issue on corn-on-corn acres.
- Driving rains move the inoculum to the plants through wounds on the stem and leaves.
- The opportunity for anthracnose stalk rot to thrive is heightened by higher temps and consistently wet environments.
What to Watch For:
- Top die-back is usually the first symptom to appear. Typically after tasseling and pollination.
- Black lesions on the stalks are a noticeable way to diagnose anthracnose stalk rot.
- To determine the severity, the stalks must be split with a knife.
- While walking fields, a simple pinch of the lower stalks can sometimes help detect anthracnose.
- Fields that have anthracnose damage must be harvested in a timely manner. Significant lodging problems can arise if the crop is left in the field too long.
- Hybrid Selection. Choose hybrids with good stalk strength and strong lodging resistance.
- Crop rotation. A good crop rotation will help alleviate problems.
- Tillage. This can help bury the residue where the inoculum overwinters, but moving the infected residue to the root zone can result in root infections for the following crop.