Managing Goss’s Wilt Risk in 2019
Feb 5, 2019
Incidences of Goss’s Wilt are on the rise in the Dakotas, with increased damage reported throughout North Dakota during the 2018 growing season. As we head into the 2019 planting and growing season, the management decisions every grower makes will be critical to mitigating Goss’s Wilt infection and damage. And with few to no options available once symptoms are present, taking the time to learn about the bacterial disease and how to reduce the risk of infection is time well spent.
Know Your Opponent
- Goss’s Wilt is not a fungal disease; it is a bacterial disease. The disease bacterium lives in the soil and plant residue and is often found in host weeds such as green foxtail, barnyard grass and shattercane.
- It is not easily transferred from field to field by equipment but bacteria can be carried great distances, as a suspension on the wind. The non-mechanical transfer of the inoculum can make confinement and control more difficult to manage.
- The bacterial inoculum will also overwinter in remaining plant residues, creating infection risks for subsequent corn crops, especially in corn on corn rotations.
- Wet conditions between 72 and 80 degrees increase both the occurrence and damage caused by the disease while hot, dry conditions suppress disease development and growth.
- Infection occurs when plant wounds develop, either from hail, sandblasting or mechanical damage.
- Once infected, no in-season controls are available and fungicides will not control the disease.
Manage to Protect Your Crop
Arthur Companies’ Agronomist Josh Rotenberger shares that choosing varieties that are resistant to the bacteria remains a grower’s most effective management tool.
“Knowing which varieties and seed companies offer Goss’s Wilt disease ratings is a solid starting point in your 2019, and beyond, corn planting considerations—especially if corn on corn will be a likely management decision.
“It will also be important to identify those varieties screened locally in conditions with reliable annual disease pressure and a hybrid maturity range that fits your needs,” he says.
Arthur Companies offers several locally-screened hybrids with good disease ratings for Goss’s Wilt, with DKC35-88 and the new DKC37-50 providing very good to excellent Goss’s resistance. Along with a seasoned team of agronomists to help you choose the variety that will work best for your operation, Arthur Companies’ research and on-farm agronomy services ensure that support is available for all of your operation’s 2019 decisions.