Thanks to the ever-challenging growing environment in the Eastern Corn Belt in 2011, many fields are beginning to show symptoms of stalk rots. Pollination and grain fill puts a tremendous demand on the corn plant. Fields that have been put under a number of stresses are having a hard time keeping up with the photosynthetic demands of the ear. Plants that are unable to keep up with the demand will resort to pulling stored carbohydrates from the stalks and roots and moving it to the developing ears. The reallocation of carbohydrates is the driving factor to stalk rots moving into many corn fields.
The pathogens that cause stalk rots are weak and opportunistic pathogens. Being weak and opportunistic means that stalk rots very seldom affect healthy, non-stressed corn, but instead attack corn plants that have a weakened defense system or are under some other stress.… Continue readingRead More »