Learn More About the Five Most Yield-Robbing Diseases

Know it when you see it: Get tips on identifying the symptoms of these common corn diseases, and learn about risk factors – including average yield loss when left unchecked.

Goss’s Wilt

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What to look for

  • Discolored vascular tissue
  • Browning of lower stalks
  • Watery lesions with wavy margins (gray-green to black in color)
  • Leaves with smaller “freckles” inside larger lesions that may be visible when held up to the sun

Northern Corn Leaf Blight

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What to look for

  • Greenish-gray lesions shaped like ovals or cigars, first appearing on lower leaves and moving upward into the canopy
  • Lesions can be up to 6 inches long

Grey Leaf Spot

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What to look for

  • Small brown rectangular lesions surrounded by a yellow halo on the leaves
  • Brown or gray regions between major leaf veins
  • Gray fungal spores on the underside of leaves

Anthracnose Stalk Rot

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What to look for

  • “Ghosting” or dieback
  • Rotted stalks
  • Dark and soft tissues starting at the nodes
  • Shiny black discoloration in blotches or streaks on the stalk (also called blackened rinds)
  • Loding high on the stalk
  • Early drydown

Southern Rust

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What to look for

  • Small circular pustules with light orange to reddish coloring located on the upper leaf surface
  • Pustules may also infect stalks, husks, ear shanks and husk leaves
  • Weakened stalks and accompanying stalk rot

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