Addressing Corn Fungus, Weed Management

A discussion about a fungus that has been negatively impacting corn acres in northeast Kansas, Missouri and Illinois will highlight a free public meeting set for Feb. 22 in Overbrook, Kansas.

K-State Research and Extension agriculture agent Ryan Schaub said Corn Tar Spot “is a relatively new fungus” that can overwinter in corn residue and then spread by rain and wind.

The fungus develops as small, black, raised spots (circular or oval) on infected plants, and may appear on one or both sides of the leaves, leaf sheaths and husks, he said.

“Scouting fields is critical (because) this fungus can spread rather quickly and can reduce yields significantly,” said Schaub, who specializes in crop production and farm management.

The Feb. 22 meeting – Increasing Row Crop Yields with Weed and Fungus Control – begins at 6 p.m. at Grace Community Church, 310 East 8th Street in Overbrook. The meeting is hosted by K-State’s Frontier Extension District. The agenda includes presentations by K-State weed science specialist Sarah Lancaster and row crop extension specialist Rodrigo Onofre.

Lancaster will provide timely tips for corn and soybean weed management, including a short list of new herbicide products. She will also examine recent cases of herbicide resistance and what that means for waterhemp control in corn and soybeans, including a residual program to control the troublesome weed.

Onofre’s presentation includes a discussion on Corn Tar Spot and how devastating it can be, and what can be done to prevent Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans.

K-State recently published the 2024 Chemical Weed Control, which will be available for attendees who have not already received a copy.

“Weed control and fungal issues are becoming bigger concerns every year,” Schaub said.

There is no cost to attend the Feb. 22 meeting, but those interested are asked to register in advance by contacting Schaub at 785-448-6826 or [email protected]. An evening meal will be provided for those who register.