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Battling Goss’s Wilt: Good Defense is Best Offense

08/18/2013 @ 7:53am

Once thought to be a disease that only affected western states, Goss’s Wilt outbreaks have increased significantly in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois.  Continuous corn production together with minimum tillage practices have in part contributed to the epidemic of Goss’s Wilt.

Below are some tips to keep top of mind to help battle these diseases:

  1. Hybrid selection. One of the best ways to protect against Goss’s Wilt is hybrid selection. If you battled Goss last year, Latham Corn Product Specialist Nick Benson recommends either rotating to soybeans or planting only highly resistant hybrids to help avoid significant yield loss.
  2. Bacteria versus fungus. Nick says oftentimes farmers will spray fungicide and believe they’re taking care of diseases like Goss’s Wilt, but because Goss’s is bacterial, the fungicide has no effect. To help farmers identify corn diseases, Iowa State University Extension has compiled a helpful Scouting Guide.
  3. Tillage. Goss’s overwinters in the previous year’s crop residue, so tillage will help prevent spread. If a field was affected by Goss last year, Nick recommends aggressive tillage to help suppress the susceptibility for the coming year.

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