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Indiana corn - early tar spot alert

Indiana corn - early tar spot alert

By Andi Anderson

Tar spot, a fungal disease affecting corn, has been confirmed in Indiana, marking the earliest detection in the state's history.

Darcy Telenko, an extension pathologist from Purdue University, reported finding the disease in corn plots located in northern Indiana.

This early detection sets a new standard for the region's agricultural community.

Telenko discovered the tar spot in corn planted early in the season and is in growth stages ranging from V5 to V7.

The infection has been identified on the lower two leaves of the plants, and in some cases, on the cattle leaves.

The level of infection is minimal at this stage, with instances as minor as one small spot per leaf.

Despite this early detection, Telenko advises against immediate concern. "Yes, we found it. It doesn’t mean it’s time to go spray some fungicides," she explained.

The presence of tar spot is a signal that the conditions in May were conducive to its development, but the overall impact is currently low. This early alert serves as a critical reminder for growers to commence regular scouting to monitor their crops closely.

The extension pathologist emphasized the importance of informed management decisions. With plenty of time left in the season, farmers can assess the situation thoroughly before taking any action.

This proactive approach allows for strategic planning and potentially prevents unnecessary chemical treatments, aligning with sustainable agricultural practices.

The appearance of tar spot this early in the season highlights the need for vigilance in crop monitoring.

As the season progresses, growers are encouraged to stay updated on the status of their crops and to be prepared to implement management strategies if the disease levels increase.

This case underscores the importance of early detection and the benefits of prompt, informed responses to crop diseases.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-oticki

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Categories: Indiana, Crops, Corn

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