Seedling Diseases Continue to Develop in Nebraska Corn

Inconsistent corn stand indicating possible seedling disease
Figure 1. Scout corn stands for intermittent gaps indicating missing or lost plants as well as diseased or dead plants.

Seedling Diseases Continue to Develop in Nebraska Corn

Prolonged wet conditions have promoted development of more seedling diseases in corn fields across Nebraska.  Seedling diseases have developed in the typical wet, heavy clay soils, but also in hilltops in sandy fields, so don’t ignore them when monitoring plant populations and stand establishment. The frequency of plants with seedling diseases has varied widely from field to field, ranging from a very low percentage of affected plants to higher numbers.

Producers and crop consultants should watch for intermittent gaps between plants indicating missing or lost plants, as well as patches of dead or symptomatic plants. Diseased seedlings can show one or more symptoms: 

  • Rotted seed prior to germination
  • Rotted or discolored seedlings after germination prior to emergence
  • Post-emergence seedling damping off
  • Root or hypocotyl decay
  • Plant discoloration and/or stunting
The author discusses corn seeding diseases on the June 3, 2016 Market Journal.
Diseased corn seedling
Figures 2a. Post-emergence damping off, root rot, and lesions were found this week in corn seedlings in sandy soils as well as the more typical clay soils.

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A field of corn.