From time to time, I like giving updates from Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Plant Pathologist and all other Extension corn team members. The following is a timely update from Dr. Bob:
“Here is our current crop “sit rep”: 1. Weather- warm, humid, coming off rains, is generally favorable for spread of fungal diseases. 2. We have confirmed southern corn rust in Colquitt and Coffee Counties; we know it must be elsewhere. We have confirmed soybean rust in KUDZU in a number of counties; Tift County last Friday. We know white mold has been active on young peanut seedlings and even on young cotton in Grady County. 3. We know much of the corn crop is at tassel or beyond. Some early-planted beans are already blooming. Beaucoup peanuts are at 30 Days or beyond.
Assessment: much of our southern GA corn crop is quite vulnerable to rust; consideration should be given to spraying irrigated, high-yield potential corn. If your corn is scouted, I would hold off spraying. “Bob, can you promise my grower that she will make more money if she sprays now for southern rust?” “No, I can’t promise. But I know if it blows up on her she will wish she did. ‘If’”
Soybean rust is a real threat – as your beans reach R3 (pod development) I would spray if you grow them on the Coastal Plain.
Peanuts: between 30-45 days after planting all growers (except organic producers) need to start a fungicide program. At least include leaf spot fungicides, but this year including something for white mold could help.