Southern corn rust was confirmed in Coffee County today (6/21/2019). Dr. Kemerait says finding this southern corn rust in Coffee County does 3 things:
A. It tells me that the extended period of wet we had a week or so ago helped to bring on our rust, that has been much delayed this year.
B. It tells me that all corn across the southern Coastal Plain is currently at risk for infection.
C. It tells me that even though there is currently not a whole lot of rust to be found, such could change quickly with our recent passing storms and high humidity.
Corn already into dough/dent stages should not need to be sprayed for rust. More than likely corn in late milk stage is safe as well. Corn at early milk, pollination/silking and tassel is likely at risk. If you are going to spray a fungicide, sooner is better. The more disease in a field, the harder it is to control.
Growers in our area should definitely be on alert. There has not been any Southern Corn Rust found in the sentinel plot in Bulloch County, but if the weather pattern continues as it has this week we are definitely at risk. Be prepared to protect your corn as we move forward and I will keep you updated with anymore finds.