Southern Rust Confirmed in Southeast Kansas – Monitor Corn Fields in Nebraska

Southern Rust Confirmed in Southeast Kansas – Monitor Corn Fields in Nebraska

Souther rust in corn

Figure 1. Southern rust spores are typically orange to tan in color and produced in pustules predominantly on the upper leaf surface, although they can also be produced abundantly on/near the midrib on the underside of the leaves. (Photo by C. Schleicher, formerly UNL)

UNL Plant Pathologist Tamra Jackson-Ziems shares updates growers on what she's seeing in this week's;

Southern corn rust has been confirmed in five counties in southeast Kansas.  The disease has not yet been confirmed in Nebraska.  Spores from the disease in locations south of Nebraska will likely be blown into the state and cause disease somewhere in the coming weeks.  Common rust is also in a few fields and could be misdiagnosed as southern rust.  Warm temperatures, high humidity, and winds from the south can promote development and spread of the disease. 

Watch for small rust pustules that produce orange to tan spores on the top of leaves (Figure 1) typical of southern rust.

If you think you have southern rust, please submit samples to the UNL Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic for confirmation.

See next week's CropWatch newsletter for information on scouting and management of southern rust in Nebraska.

Tamra Jackson-Ziems
Extension Plant Pathologist