The season-long drought and extreme heat have created conditions prime for Aspergillus ear rot to develop in corn, so growers should scout their fields and inspect their grain, a Purdue Extension plant pathologist said.
The fungus, which infects corn ears through the silks or wounds, produces aflatoxin, a toxic carcinogen that also can cause health problems for livestock that consume contaminated corn.
“Aspergillus ear rot is out there, but it varies greatly from field to field, mostly depending on planting time and environmental conditions at pollination,” Kiersten Wise said. “There is no field without some potential for the disease.”
Fields most at risk are those in which corn was planted in late March to early April, due to the high temperatures and drought stress that occurred when that corn was pollinating. Even if corn was planted later in April, it is still at risk if it was under extreme drought stress during pollination, planted in sandy soils or experienced insect and hail damage.… Continue readingRead More »