Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Plant Pathologist sent the following note and picture this afternoon: “Greetings – heads up- right on time. Southern corn rust found in Madison Co. FL today just south of the Georgia line. Established in 2 fields of corn; relatively new. With approaching weather this weekend, I advise growers in Deep South Central and deep Southeast Georgia to consider a fungicide application if their corn is nearing tassel or beyond. Early arrival and perfect weather. I hate to spend money unnecessarily but I respect this disease.”
I am most appreciate of the system of communication that is in place in Georgia to alert us when diseases are found in corn. This broad monitoring of corn diseases over the past decade has proven most valuable to corn growers. Please take extra care over the next several weeks to scout your fields for southern rust. Most of the disease pressure (NCLB, SCLB) that I have found has been primarily in the southern tier counties in the state. I’ve not seen any southern rust, yet. This could change quickly if southern rust starts spreading throughout the coastal plains. As Dr. Kemerait has said: “respect this disease”.