Rain Helps Washington County Farmers, but Northern Corn Leaf Blight Nearby
Wednesday’s rain in Washington County provided much relief to extreme dry conditions. Some field work began Friday, May 11, 2012 planting cotton and peanuts. Pastures and hay fields are responding to the rain as well. Squash harvest is currently underway and sweet corn is about two weeks from harvest.
Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NLB) was confirmed last weekend in Seminole County, just north of Jackson County, Florida. This fungal disease is characterized by long, spindle-shaped lesions which are at first pale green, gradually turning gray-brown with age. Lesions may eventually be up to ½ inch wide by four to six inches long. Under favorable disease conditions, numerous lesions may coalesce to kill large amounts of foliage. Exserohilum turcicu, the causal agent, is favored by moderate temperatures (65-80° F) and periods of prolonged leaf wetness. It is slowed by periods of extended dryness. If the disease is well established prior to silking, economic losses may ensue. Resistant hybrids are currently available to aid in the control of northern blight and are highly recommended, particularly for the spring growing season. Scouting is currently underway.
Submitted by Andy Andreasen, Washington County Extension Director