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Bacterial stalk rot

Area of impact: Stalk

Description: Lowest internodes turn brown and become soft and slimy sometimes with a foul odor. Wilting upper leaves and soft rot at the whorl’s base can also occur.

Pathogen involved: Erwinia chrysanthemi pv. zeae (a bacterium)

Timing/Conditions: Occurs mid-season after pollination; High temperatures, lots of rainfall or overhead irrigation, and insect injury favor the disease.

Contributing factors: Might be transmitted by corn borer larvae; Overwinters in stalk residue.

Management practices: Incorporate debris with fall plowing and avoid flooding or too much overhead irrigation

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