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Monitor How Corn Hybrids Handle NCLB

Categories: GROWING, CORN

Midwestern summers often bring humid conditions, which in turn lead to a greater chance of your crop being infected by northern corn leaf blight (NCLB). A result of cool temperatures, high humidity and moist conditions, NCLB is a disease caused by the fungus Exserohilum turcicum.

NCLB develops at or after silking, but the earlier infection occurs, the greater the damage. If the disease becomes established before tasseling, The Ohio State University reports yield losses may be as high as 30-50%. Symptoms are most often observed following heavy dew and on overcast days.

Purdue University advises scouting your fields for the following signs of NCLB: 

  • Long, narrow, tan lesions that form parallel to leaf margins, first appearing on lower leaves and spreading upward
  • Olive-green or black fungal spores spread by wind or water

Results of NCLB can lead to less photosynthetic area, leading to potential yield loss. Additional plant damage includes stalk rot development and lodging.

To help prevent NCLB, manage residue with a one-year rotation away from corn as well as a fungicide management plan. Purdue University recommends applying fungicides during tasseling to early silking stages (VT-R1) for the best opportunity of success.

Another proactive approach to manage NCLB is selecting disease tolerant hybrids. To find out the NCLB tolerance rating of particular Golden Harvest hybrids, enter your location, relative maturity needs or a specific hybrid name in our online product finder.

Contact your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor with questions or for additional agronomic insights.
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