Eric Acdee with Corn Fungicide Research

(Dr. Eric Adee) Hi. I am Eric Adee. I manage the research farm here at Kansas River Valley Experiment Field. Tonight I talked about top dieback in corn which is caused by anthracnose. And it’s a disease, untracked it can affect the corn plant in several different ways, but under unique circumstances it can kill the top part of the plant and so you have a top part of the plant dead and the lower leaves still green which is very unusual, so it’s very noticeable. We had been conducting corn fungicide studies and last year we had a lot of top dieback show up, and we did find that strobilurin fungicides did reduce a significant amount of top dieback and we did have a very significant yield increase, up to 15 to 20 bushels an acre. We reduced the top dieback from like thirty-some percent down to about 11 or 12% with these fungicide treatments. We had all different kinds of strobilurin fungicides, some of them with or without Propiconazole as well. But the problem with this disease is that it is very hard to predict, and there isn’t a lot of literature out there but what we get just based on the weather data where we have seen the disease show up, or weather data where it hasn’t shown up. Basically it’s a period of wet rainy period right at tasseling. The week before tasseling is partly the most critical. Last year in 2015, we had six or seven days that we had rain and overcast conditions which favored this disease. This anthracnose is favored by warm, humid, and overcast conditions. And again it’s going to be very hard to predict, but we do know the strobilurin fungicides can be applied to corn for controlling other leaf diseases like Gray Leaf Spot, or Common Rust, or Southern Rust. All are effective against top dieback. So in that situation you may have both out there in the field, you will get a double benefit.

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