Don’t Let Ear Rots Gunk Up Harvest

Drought took a toll on Missouri crops in 2018, including this corn field in Ray County, near the town of Hardin. (July 2018) ( Tyne Morgan )

As combines chew through corn acres, many reports of corn ear rots and disease have emerged. In some areas, drought conditions in 2018 have increased aflatoxin risk.

Identification of the pathogen causing ear rots and molds is the first step.  

A new app, simply named “Mycotoxins,” aims to sped up the diagnosis process so farmers can spend more time planning their next step rather than guessing which problematic pathogen is slowing down harvest. The app was co-developed by the Department of Plant Pathology of the University of Arkansas and the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology of Purdue University.

Here’s a video demonstrating how to scout for ear rots:


And here’s a roundup of reports from twitter on what’s been found out in the field so far this harvest: