GOSS’S WILT: A good defense may be your best offense

Once thought to be a disease that only affected western states, Goss’s Wilt outbreaks have increased significantly in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois. The increased frequency has prompted many farmers to ask what they can do to avoid Goss’s Wilt in 2012.

Goss’ Wilt is a bacterium that can overwinter in infected residue on the soil surface and in weed hosts. Most often, the bacteria will enter the corn plant through wounds caused by hail damage, insects or even heavy winds. Since Goss’s Wilt is a bacterial disease, foliar fungicides have no effect. Therefore, in-season management options are very limited.

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. Choosing corn hybrids with a strong resistance to Goss’s Wilt is your first line of defense, Latham’s own John Toft was quoted in an article posted yesterday by Wallaces Farmer. Other tips to protect fields against Goss’s Wilt are detailed in that same article. Click here to read “Got Wilt? Keep Disease Resistance in Mind.”