Tamra Jackson-Ziems - Extension Plant Pathologist

Tamra Jackson-Ziems

Work Plant Sciences Hall (PLSH) 406
Lincoln NE 68583-0722
Work 402-472-2559 On campus, dial 2-2559
Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Extension Specialist and Professor, joined the faculty of the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in April 2005 after completing her graduate degrees at the University of Arkansas and University of Illinois-Urbana. Her appointment is split between extension, research, and teaching 80/10/10%, respectively, with statewide responsibility for diseases of corn and grain sorghum. Her extension activities encompass educating clientele about disease identification, prevention, and management. And her research projects encompass a broad range of topics, including bacterial leaf streak, Goss’s bacterial wilt and blight, use of fungicides for disease control, and plant parasitic nematodes of corn. During her time at UNL, she has delivered more than 180 invited presentations in 16 states and is the 2016 recipient of both the Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association’s Award for Outstanding Creative Programming (for an individual) and the Nebraska Ag Business Association’s Education and Research Person of 2016 Award.


  • Ph D, University of Illinois-Urbana, 2005
  • MS, University of Arkansas, 2000
  • BS, University of Central Arkansas, 1996

icon-bookmark-starAwards & Honors

  • Outstanding Education and Research Person of 2016, Nebraska Ag Business Association, 2016
  • Outstanding Award For Creative Programming (Individual) for "Bacterial Leaf Streak of Corn", Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association, 2016
  • Dinsdale Family Faculty Award, IANR, 2009
  • Distinguished New Extension Employee Award , UNL Extension, 2009

Faculty Bio

Twitter: @tjcksn
YouTube: Corn Disease Videos at UNL CropWatch
Website: Corn Disease section of CropWatch Plant Disease Management

Malformed corn ears
Malformed corn ears

Corn Ear Formation Issues Likely Correlated With the Loss of the Primary Ear Node

August 19, 2016
UNL agronomists and educators responding to grower questions surveyed a number of corn fields this week and found a range of corn ear issues: short husks, dumbbell-shaped ears, and multiple ears per node. The article describes and discusses the situation, potential stress agents, and the development of corn. It also encourages growers to check their fields pre-harvest to better assess causes of potential yield loss.

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Southern rust on a corn leaf
Southern rust on a corn leaf

Corn Disease Update: Southern Rust Confirmed in 10 Nebraska Counties

July 29, 2016
Southern rust has been confirmed in samples from 10 Nebraska counties — Adams, Butler, Clay, Fillmore, Lancaster, Nuckolls, Pierce, Polk, Thayer, and Valley. All were from fields with a low incidence of disease at the time. Growers should also be scouting for rust as well as gray leaf spot, common rust, and physoderma brown spot.

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Corn Disease Updates Aug. 4-5; Samples Welcomed

July 28, 2016

Corn Disease Updates, hosted by Nebraska Extension and sponsored by the Nebraska Corn Board, will be held at three more sites in the next two weeks.

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Corn nematode damage
Figure 1a. Severe sting nematode injury to corn. When sampling severely affected areas, collect samples from the edges of damaged areas in the field. That's where you'll find the most nematodes. (Photos by Tamra Jackson-Ziems)

Corn Nematodes: Scout Sandy Soils Now, Other Soils Any Time

June 7, 2016

This year nematode damage in some Nebraska fields may be masked by the ample rainfall we’ve received, but rest assured, these plant parasitic nematodes are still there in almost every field. Their impact ranges from no obvious sign to severe crop injury and tremendous yield loss.

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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

June 2, 2016
Following several weeks of rainy conditions, seedling diseases are becoming more apparent in corn. See what symptoms to look for when scouting fields.

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Corn seedling disease
Figure 1. Stunting, discoloration, damping off, and root rot are all common symptoms of seedling diseases, like the plant on the left compared to the healthy plant (right).

Seedling Diseases Developing in Corn

May 20, 2016
With cool wet conditions favorable for corn seedling disease development, growers are urged to scout for inconsistent stands and disease pressure. This week seedling diseases were documented in 10% of surveyed fields in Dodge County in eastern Nebraska, mostly in corn-after-corn fields in river valleys. Be sure to monitor seedling emergence and stand establishment across the state during the coming weeks so that if problems occur they can be detected as early as possible.

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Corn seedling damping off
Corn seedling with post-emergence damping off.

Wet Conditions Favorable for Seedling Diseases in Early Planted Corn

April 28, 2016
Wet field conditions and cool soil temperatures across Nebraska may put early planted corn at added risk for seedling diseases. Be sure to monitor seedling emergence and stand establishment in the coming weeks so that if problems occur they can be detected as early as possible.

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