[Mid-South states include: Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, southern Missouri, and Tennessee]
Mid-south states most frequently experience problems with Aspergillus, Diplodia and Fusarium ear rots.
Mid-South ear rot management recommendations are as follows:
- Plant hybrids that are tolerant to a broad range of environmental stresses and avoid planting short season hybrids. Bt-hybrids that are resistant to insect feeding can help prevent damage from Fusarium and Aspergillus ear rots.
- Promote conditions that favor plant growth and reduce plant stress.
- Application of the non-aflatoxin producing (atoxigenic) strains of biological control (such as Afla-Guard or AF-36) at V10 can help reduce aflatoxin levels in high-risk situations.
- Fungicides are generally not recommended for ear rot and mycotoxin management.
- Fields with ear rots should be harvested early and grain dried to below 15% moisture to prevent additional mold and mycotoxin accumulation.
- Adjust the combine to discard lightweight or damaged kernels which may contain mold or mycotoxin.
- Segregate grain from moldy fields and store appropriately. Check bins periodically to make sure moisture has not increased during storage.
For more information on Aspergillus ear rot management in the mid-south, see http://www.corn-sorghum.org/aflatoxin-prevention-0. Please reference the University of Arkansas Aflatoxin Pocket Guide for more information on Aspergillus ear rot and aflatoxin management.