Southern Corn Rust has been found in Georgia! According to Dr. Kemerait, and Dr. Noland, Southern Corn Rust has been spotted in Mitchell and Tift County.
Southern Corn Rust infects the leaves making the plant incapable of producing sugars through photosynthesis, which reduces yield potential. It will also drain the stalks of strength causing vulnerability to high winds that could blow the stalks over.
Do not confuse Common Rust with Southern Rust. Southern Rust pustules appear primarily on the upper leaf surface, are orange to light brown, round and densely packed on the leaf surface.
We know quite a few acres in Burke County have been treated with fungicides. Many fields in the county are approaching dent stage. Those that are at dent should be out of any danger from Southern Rust and do not need a fungicide application at this point. Late planted corn, not quite at dent stage, or untreated should be scouted regularly. Southern Rust can move quickly with our current weather conditions.
So far in Burke County Peyton had leaf blight concerns confirmed through UGA Diagnostics as Southern Blight. We have also had reports of Northern Blight.
According to the 2018 Corn Production Guide:
Although fungicides are important tools for the management of northern corn leaf blight, growers should understand that simply finding this disease in small amounts does not necessarily mean a fungicide application is needed. Nearly every field in the state will have some level of northern corn leaf blight; timely fungicide applications are advised in situations where this disease is likely to develop further. Such occurs most often when a susceptible variety is planted and conditions are favorable for disease development (e.g., ample rainfall).
If you have any questions about corn diseases or fungicides, please contact us the Burke County Extension Office.