Disease Management Starts in the Fall

Disease Management Starts in the Fall

Start planning now for potential disease pressure next growing season.  Here in the western part of the corn belt one of the diseases we start planning for is Goss’s Wilt.   According to the University of Nebraska Pathologist, Dr. Tamra Jackson-Ziems, the most effective tool is selecting hybrids with high tolerance to Goss’s Wilt.  The next option is fall tillage to maintain low residue levels which the Goss’s Wilt inoculum overwinters on.  Tillage and hybrid selection become more important in corn on corn systems since the disease is likely to survive in higher levels the first year after an infected corn crop.  Goss’s Wilt is a bacterial infection so fungicides will have no significant effect in slowing its development.  This underscores the importance of implementing your plan proactively to help mitigate potential issues during the growing season.