Ways to Avoid Goss's Wilt in 2012

Goss’s Wilt, which has plagued Nebraska corn fields since 1969, has been spotted in Iowa this season.  Iowa farmers are searching for ways to protect yield potential yet this season, as well as avoid the problem in 2012, says ISU Plant Pathologist Alison Robertson.

There are three products that Robertson says she’s heard Iowa corn growers are trying to treat Goss’s Wilt: Procidic, Kocide and Intercept.  Procidic is advertised as a broad spectrum fungicide and bactericide.  However, Robertson isn’t aware of any published data for the effect of Procidic against bacterial diseases or use on corn. Kocide is not labeled for use on corn to manage Goss’s Wilt, so Robertson said it should not be used.  A third product that Iowa growers are reportedly trying is Intercept.  There is very little information available on this product, but it’s reportedly been used in Florida to control citrus canker, which is also caused by a bacterium.

Robertson is monitoring a corn field in Gilbert, Iowa, that had an application of Procidic, as well as an earlier application of Stratego YLD. She says she also will be evaluating fields where Intercept has been applied.  At the end of the growing season, ISU researchers will study the effect of both products on Goss’s Wilt disease development and general plant health of the corn.

“Continuous corn production together with minimum tillage practices have in part contributed to the epidemic of Goss’s wilt we are witnessing in 2011,” says Robertson in a recent Wallaces Farmer article.  “Other factors include susceptible germplasm and stormy weather.”

To avoid Goss’s Wilt in 2012, farmers should keep recommended management practices in mind.  Best practices include growing resistant corn hybrids, using crop rotation and crop residue management.