Gibberella (red) ear rot
Area of impact: Ears
Description: Reddish mold grows on the ear tip and then spreads downward. If the entire ear is covered, it may be partially rotted which can cause the ear to stick to the husk.Tiny black specks might be found on the husks and ear shanks.
Pathogen involved: Gibberella zeae (a fungus)
Timing/Conditions: Occurs after silking in cool wet weather.
Contributing factors: Corn-on-corn or wheat-on-corn rotation and damaged kernels. Overwinters in corn residue. Same pathogen causes head scab of wheat.
Management practices: Rotate crops and till in fall where appropriate. Hybrids with tight husks may be more prone to infection.