Crazy TopCORN061.JPG

Crazy top

Area of impact: Tassel

Description: Top leaves become twisted with extreme tillering and the tassel turns into a leafy-looking mass. Severely infected plants may have narrow leathery or shortened leaves with pale stripes.

Pathogen involved: Sclerophthora macrospora (an oomycete)

Timing/Conditions: Infection starts when the whorl emerges and develops most often between the seedling and 4 to 5 leaf stage in corn that has been flooded for 24 to 48 hours.

Contributing factors: Flooding increases risk. Occur when soil and water get trapped in the whorl.

Management practices: Improve drainage and avoid planting in low wet areas.

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