Anthracnose stalk rot, instigated by the fungus Colletotrichum graminicola, is a widespread and damaging corn disease. It flourishes in environments with high humidity and temperature, the perfect breeding ground for the fungus.

Impacting the stalk's strength and integrity, Anthracnose stalk rot-infected plants suffer significant yield losses due to premature plant death, poor grain fill, and an increased likelihood of lodging, further complicating harvest.

Moreover, the disease can also indirectly influence corn quality. Infected plants are more susceptible to secondary infections by other pathogens, which can further decrease yield and grain quality.

How to Identify Anthracnose Stalk Rot

Prompt detection of Anthracnose stalk rot is key to deploying effective management strategies. The disease usually presents as small, water-soaked lesions on the lower internodes of the stalk. These lesions eventually grow and merge, forming elongated, darkened areas often blanketed with a black, powdery fungal growth.

Internally, the disease induces a discoloration of the stalk pith, changing it from a healthy white to a dark brown or black, often most visible at the nodes. In severe instances, the pith may entirely rot, leaving only the outer rind intact.

Geographic Reach of Anthracnose Stalk Rot

Geographically, Anthracnose stalk rot is most prevalent in warm, humid regions. In the United States it is particularly widespread in the Corn Belt, but it can manifest anywhere corn is grown.

Timing of Anthracnose Stalk Rot

The disease can strike at any growth stage of corn, but it inflicts the most harm during the mid to late growing season.

How to Manage Anthracnose Stalk Rot

Overall, hybrid product selection and keeping the crop as healthy as possible with a comprehensive crop protection program are the best defenses against anthracnose stalk rot. 

Start by choosing corn hybrids with greater resistance to anthracnose stalk rot. Ensure sufficient crop nutrition with fertilizers like Nourish Vitals™ or Inhabit N™

Fungicides aren't effective against fusarium stalk rot itself, but they can help protect overall plant health. Fungicide applications near tassel timing — or earlier if disease or environmental threats warrant — can help protect stalk integrity.

Managing foliar diseases can help protect stalk integrity and lessen plant stress, which makes the plant more susceptible to the development of stalk rots. Protect stalk integrity and limit stress that favors the development of anthracnose stalk rot by managing foliar diseases with a broad-spectrum fungicide like GCS Azoxyprop or Willowood Teb 3.6SC

Similarly, controlling insects that can wound plant tissue can help reduce the entry of fungal pathogens into the plant. Manage insects with insecticides like Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC**, Asana XL**, and GCS Bifenthrin 2EC**.

GCS Azoxyprop tote 800x800


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Asana® is a registered trademark of Valent U.S.A. Corporation.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

**Asana® XL is a restricted use pesticide.

**Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC is a restricted use pesticide.

**Bifenthrin 2EC is a restricted use pesticide.

*RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDE Due to acute toxicity. For retail sale to and use by certified applicators only – NOT to be used by uncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator.

This content was generated with the assistance of Norm℠, FBN’s artificial intelligence (AI) Ag Advisor, based on a dataset of information containing general industry best practices and research. The AI model did not use specific external sources to generate this content. Our process involves using AI to aid human subject matter experts with the initial drafting and/or refinement of content.

The information and content provided is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. The content is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific agronomic, business, or professional advice, and should not be relied upon as such. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. If you have any questions or feedback about the content, please feel free to contact us or visit our FAQ (

Every product that labels ANTHRACNOSE as a weed, pest, or disease the product can be applied against is shown below. Click any product for label and more information.
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FIncognito® 85 WDGIndar® 2F FungicideInitiate® 720 Flowable FungicideInitiate® ZNInsignia® fungicideInsignia® SC Intrinsic® brand fungicideInspire Super®Inspire®Instill™Instrata®Interface™Iprodione 4L AGK-Phite® 7LP Systemic Fungicide BactericideK-Phite® 7LP T/OKalmor®Kenja® 400SC FungicideKentan® DFKocide® 2000Kocide® 2000Kocide® 2000-OKocide® 3000Kocide® 3000Kocide® 3000-OKocide® DFKOP-Hydroxide™KOP-Hydroxide™ 50WKOP™-5 Algaecide/Bactericide/FungicideKoverall® FungicideKoverall® FungicideLaguna®Lalstop G46 WGLaredo® EW FungicideLektivar™ 40SCLexicon® Intrinsic® brand fungicideLifeGard® WGLime Sulfur ULTRALime-Sulfur Solution™Linebacker® WDG Agricultural Fungicide (REI = 12)Lucento™Luna Experience®Luna Sensation®Luna® FlexLuna® PrivilegeMagistrate™ManKocide®Manzate® MaxManzate® Pro-Stick™ (UPI)Marazo™MasterCop®Maxtima® FungicideMazinga™ ADV FungicideMazinga™ ADV FungicideMazolin™Medallion® FungicideMerivon® Xemium® brand fungicideMertect® 340-FMeteor® FungicideMettle® 125 MEMettle® 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