Southern Rust Finally Shows Up

Southern rust was found this week in Dillon County.  Though this would normally be a concerning disease, it has come so late that few growers will have to worry much about it.

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Southern rust pustules.

The vast majority of our corn is either at black layer or will be there in a matter of a few days.  Southern rust is of no concern to these fields.  The youngest fields that are still at the halfway point  on the milk line (we have very few) are the ones we need to worry about.  In one of his previous disease updates, Clemson grain specialist David Gunter recommended an application of something cheap like tebuconazole if you were at 50% milk line when Southern rust showed up.  If you’re at 75% milk line or more, it probably isn’t worth spraying.  The rust isn’t very severe out there right now and you’re getting very close to black layer.

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Dryland corn from 2016 season.  Vast improvement over 2015.

We have had a pretty easy season in most of the Pee Dee and we have a great crop out there right now.  The hot, dry weather we saw last week dried down some fields quickly and allowed for a few acres to be harvested.  A few people have asked about aflatoxin recently.  We shouldn’t expect to see nearly as much as we did last year since the season hasn’t been nearly as stressful.  A few ears have been found with some Aspergillus present, but nothing serious.

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