Tar spot is caused by a fungus called Phyllachora maydis that can spread throughout corn fields in the Midwest. This disease was first found in 2015, but has quickly spread throughout Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri.
Corn was not the only crop that benefited from fungicide in 2021. So far this fall there have been 5-10 bushel per acre differences in soybeans that had at least one fungicide application compared to the fields that did not receive that application.
The growing season of 2021 has provided many areas in the Midwest with favorable conditions for possible southern corn rust development. Currently in the Midwest, southern rust has been observed in southeast Kansas, Missouri, and southern Illinois. Current numbers are low, but if high humidity and temperatures continue the pathogen could spread quickly.
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