Source: Purdue University
Slimy, discolored corn stalks are being observed in seed and dent corn fields around Indiana. Bacterial stalk rot, can be caused by several species of bacteria, but Erwinia chrysanthemi pv. zeae is likely the cause of many of the symptoms observed in Indiana. This stalk rot can periodically cause problems in Indiana corn, especially when hot, wet weather precedes tasseling.
Symptoms of bacterial stalk rot first appear as tan or brown, water-soaked spots on the leaf sheaths on the internodes of the stalk. Lesions can also form on the leaves, and infected plants wilt and collapse as the infection progresses through the stalks. The pith of infected plants will decay and be mushy or soft. Infected plants are typically scattered throughout a field or in small pockets within a field.