On Sept 23rd Greg and I took a drive thru the Brucefield, Kippen, Hensall, Zurich areas to ascertain the extent of damage being done to corn by Northern Corn Leaf Blight. From what we have seen and from what we saw in the Milverton/Brunner area last week, I believe this is the worst level of infection I have ever seen in my life. Our corn crop is being nailed with premature death. Yes, there are low spots in many fields where Jack Frost got the corn, however NCLB is getting the rest. It looks like corn that was sprayed at tassel time with a fungicide is going to be ok, however it has now been 53 days since most of the corn has been sprayed. You can see a few lesions starting on some leaves of the sprayed corn. I have found some hybrids that have such poor tolerance to NCLB, that disease has already infected them to a large extent, even tho they were sprayed 53 days ago. Corn that was sprayed too early – July 12-20th – has now become infected.
Attached are a few links to NCLB sites. When a corn plant dies too quickly, the end results are poor cob tip fill, poor kernel fill, lighter test weight and loose rubbery cobs. Silage hybrids are being especially hard hit as many of them have poor tolerance to NCLB. Leaves are dying prematurely however the stalks are very green and wet yet. Ensiling quality will be lessened and mold and toxins will increase.
Fusarium head blight took a lot of yield and quality from our wheat crop. NCLB will likely do the same to our corn crop.
Click on photo to enlarge.