Kevin Korus, Coordinator of the Plant and Pest diagnostic Clinic at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln), told us today that Goss’ wilt “attacked corn early in Nebraska” this season.
Stormy weather and moderate temperatures (below 90 degrees) create optimal growing conditions for the bacteria and encourage disease, he says. “The time of infection appears to be varying from previous years. Several years ago we saw mainly leaf lesions as early signs of Goss’ infection. In the past couple of years, wilting from plugged vascular systems in the stalk is showing up as the initial symptom.”
“This is an active year for bacterial diseases in general,” he says, noting that growers are on the lookout. “Farmers are increasingly familiar with Goss’ symptoms. The number of Goss’ tissue samples sent by farmers to our diagnostic clinic has declined over the past few seasons as farmers have learned to recognize the disease.”
Korus notes that temperatures over 90 degrees can slow the spread of Goss’ wilt.
Seed companies have sucessfully bred resistant hybrids, but Korus says none are totally immune when conditions are favorable for disease.