Corn top dieback in 2011

Corn top dieback has been a concern this year, and in many instances, diseases may not be involved.

The year 2011 has seen an increased concern of top dieback in corn. Much of what we are seeing is most likely related to genetics and stressful growing conditions, though a few diseases may also be present. Please see this excellent article, “Top Leaf Death or ‘Dieback’ in Corn,” discussing corn dieback and contributing factors, written by Bob Nielsen, agronomist and corn specialist at Purdue University.

If you are unsure if a disease is involved and would like to find out, you will need to take notes as to the distribution of symptoms throughout the field and collect representative plant samples for submission directly to MSU Diagnostic Services, or through your local MSU Extension educator. Include with the sample a submission form completed as much as possible.

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