Corn Diseases in Arkansas
There are many diseases of corn caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria and
nematodes. Most of these have not been serious problems in recent years due to
the availability of improved corn hybrids, early planting, irrigation and other
good farming practices employed by most Arkansas corn producers.
The single most serious disease threat to Arkansas corn production is
aflatoxin - a chemical contaminant of grain produced by certain Aspergillus
fungi. Corn grain with levels of aflatoxin above 20 ppb is very difficult or
impossible to sell or use in current marketing environments. Prevention of this
problem is of critical importance each year in the South.Two other problems have
been occasionally serious in certain fields. These include the Southern Virus
Complex (MDMV and MCDV) that can be a problem where fields are planted late or
where johnsongrass is common in or around the fields, and Root Knot Nematode
where corn is planted on very sandy soils with a history of this problem.
Other disease problems may be observed in Arkansas but have either not been
serious in recent years or the extent of damage is unknown. These include seed
rots and seedling blights, common rust, various leaf spots/blights, stalk rots
and downy mildew (crazy top).
In Arkansas, good farming practices including early planting, regular soil
testing and proper fertilization, selection of a southern adapted hybrid, proper
plant population, adequate irrigation, good weed control and timely harvest will
minimize most diseases. In recent years, we have almost never recommended
fungicides or other chemical disease controls because they have not been
Below is a list of the nematode related publications available.
Publications can be obtained by contacting the county Extension office or select a title below for an online version of
the fact sheet. Also check our
publications database for other related publications.
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