It Pays to Check Fields Early and Often

We all have seen fields with high yield potential devastated by disease. The only way to stop disease is to catch it early or prevent it altogether.  The two primary diseases for corn in our area is anthracnose and northern corn leaf blight.  It’s important to check your fields early and often.

Anthracnose Identification

It appears as leaf blight and may occur anytime after emergence. In early corn, it will appear as water-soaked round spots and blights on lower leaves.  The spots and legions will grow up to mid and late corn development.  The legions will look yellow, red or brown depending on the situation.

The key is to catch it in early corn development. It can appear as top die-back after tassel and eventually lead to stalk rot.  Both symptoms can have extreme effects on field performance and harvestability.

Northern Corn Leaf Blight Identification

It appears as oblong lesions that look like a cigar which may be tan or gray in color. The size of the legion ranges from 1 to 7 inches and typically appear on lower leaves first.  Northern Corn Leaf Blight usually appears late in the growing season.  The disease requires temperatures from 64-81 degrees F, cloudy, and humid conditions to spread.

Both diseases survive on crop residue overwinter and spread by wind and water. Managing anthracnose and northern corn leaf blight can by done by hybrid selection, scouting early and often, fungicides, and other cultural practices.

(pictured: Northern Corn Leaf Blight)


Contact your Countryside Agronomist for further information. If you are not a Countryside customer, contact a member of our team here.

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