Fusarium

Overview

Fusarium stalk rot, a fungal disease that primarily targets corn stalks but can also affect roots, ears and leaves, is triggered by several species of the Fusarium genus, particularly Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium subglutinans.

Fusarium stalk rot can cause substantial yield losses due to premature plant death, reduced grain fill, and lodging, which can substantially complicate harvest. In severe instances, the disease can result in total crop failure.


How Does Fusarium Stalk Rot Impact Corn Plants?

  • Stalks: The disease primarily weakens the stalks, causing them to become brittle. This can lead to lodging, making the plants more susceptible to further damage from wind and rain.

  • Leaves: The leaves of infected plants may show wilting and discoloration. This can decrease photosynthesis, leading to reduced grain fill and lower yields.

  • Ears and Kernels: In some instances, the disease can also infect the ears and kernels, leading to reduced grain quality. Infected kernels may display a pinkish to reddish discoloration, and may contain mycotoxins that can be harmful if consumed.

  • Roots: The roots of infected plants may also be affected, leading to reduced water and nutrient uptake.

How to Identify Fusarium Stalk Rot

Fusarium stalk rot usually appears as a reddish to pinkish discoloration in the pith. As the disease advances, the pith becomes shredded, assuming a "stringy" appearance. In severe cases, the pith may disintegrate entirely, leaving only the vascular bundles.

The initial visible symptom of Fusarium stalk rot is typically wilting, followed by the plant's premature death. The leaves may also show a grayish to reddish discoloration. Another common symptom is stalk breakage or lodging, especially during periods of high wind or heavy rain.

To verify Fusarium stalk rot presence, perform a simple "push" or "pinch" test. If the stalk can be easily crushed by pinching, or if the plant bends or breaks when pushed at an angle, it is likely infected with Fusarium stalk rot.

Geographic Impact of Fusarium Stalk Rot

Fusarium stalk rot can occur in any region where corn is grown. However, it is more prevalent in warm, humid climates, and in fields with a history of the disease.

Timing of Fusarium Stalk Rot

The disease typically emerges in the mid to late growing season, especially during periods of high temperature and humidity.

How to Manage Fusarium Stalk Rot

There are several ways farmers can protect their plants to improve profitability. Start by choosing corn hybrids with higher stalk integrity and standability ratings. Then, 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 and environmental threats warrant – can help protect stalk integrity. 

In particular, managing foliar diseases can help protect stalk integrity and lessen plant stress that favors the development of stalk rot. Farmers can manage foliar diseases with a broad-spectrum fungicide like GCS Azoxyprop or Willowood Teb 3.6SC

European corn borers are a known stalk rot disease vector. They can wound plant tissue, allowing fungal pathogens to enter the plant and carry the disease from plant to plant. Manage European corn borers with insecticides like Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC**, Asana XL**, and GCS Bifenthrin 2EC**.

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

Willowood Teb 3.6SC tote 800x800

Disclaimer

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Asana® is a registered trademark of Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.

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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.

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

**Asana® XL is a restricted use pesticide.

**GCS 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.

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Every product that labels FUSARIUM as a weed, pest, or disease the product can be applied against is shown below. Click any product for label and more information.
3336® DG Lite®3336® EG3336® F3336® WPA-Zox 50WDGAbound® Flowable FungicideAcceleron® D-109 Fungicide Seed TreatmentAcceleron® D-342 (Monsanto)Acceleron® D-342 Fungicide Seed TreatmentAcceleron® D-612 Fungicide Seed TreatmentAcceleron® D-961 Fungicide Seed TreatmentAcceleron® DX-109Acceleron® DX-509Acceleron® DX-612Acceleron® DX-709Acceleron® DX-910Acceleron™ DC-509Ace™ 3.8L STActinovate® AGActinovate® AGActinovate® STPAdage™ STAmplitude™Apron MAXX® RFCApron MAXX® RTA®Apron MAXX® RTA® + MolyArchive®Avicta® Complete Beans 500Aviv™Aviv™AzoxyStar®Azoxystrobin SCBacixBarrierBay2000™Bean Guard®/Allegiance®Bexfond™ Biological FungicideBio-Tam® 2.0Buzz Ultra - DFBuzz Ultra DF™Carb-O-Nator®Cease®Cereal Premix F4 STCinnerate® (Sym-Agro)Clariva® Elite BeansConfine® ExtraConfine™ Extra T&OCruiser® Vibrance® QuattroCruiserMaxx®CruiserMaxx® AdvancedCruiserMaxx® APXCruiserMaxx® APX UncoloredCruiserMaxx® EZCruiserMaxx® PlusCruiserMaxx® RiceCruiserMaxx® Vibrance®CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® PulsesDaconil Ultrex® Turf Care®Daconil Weatherstik®Daconil® WeatherStik®Debug® ONDebug® OptimoDebug® TresDebug® TurboDexter® SCDexter™ MaxDexter™ XCELDifenoconazole 3L STDisarm® 480 SCDisarm® G FungicideDithane® F45 Rainshield® FungicideDithane® M45 FungicideDocket® DFDornic™ 720 FDouble Nickel 55™Double Nickel® LCDyna-Shield Defuze™Dyna-Shield Tibet™Dyna-Shield® FludioxonilEcho® Ultimate ETQ™Echo® Ultimate Turf and Ornamental FungicideEmesto® SilverEmpress™ Intrinsic™ brand fungicideEnhance®Enhance® AWEquation™Equity® VIPEquity™Ethos® 3D Insecticide/FungicideEthos® Elite LFR® Insecticide/BiofungicideEthos® XB Insecticide/FungicideEverGol® EnergyEverGol® Energy SBEvocade™Fludioxonil 4L STFortuna™ 75 WDG FungicideFosphite® FungicideFungi-Phite® CerealsFungi-Phite® FungicideFungo® FloGuarda®Headline® fungicideHeadline® SC fungicideHeads Up® Plant ProtectantHeads Up® RTA Seed TreatmentHelena® T-Methyl 4.5 AgHeritage® FungicideHiStick® N/T For Use on Beans (Dry/Snap)HiStick® N/T For Use on PeanutsHiStick® N/T For Use on SoybeanHowler® FungicideHurricane® WDGIncognito® 85 WDGInLine® Soil Fungicide and NematicideINOVATE™ Seed ProtectantInsignia® fungicideIntego® Fungicide SoybeansINTEGO™ SUITE SoybeansINTEGO™ SUITE SystemJet-Ag®Jet-Ag® 5%K-Phite® 7LP Systemic Fungicide BactericideK-Phite® 7LP T/OKoverall® FungicideKoverall® FungicideLalstop G46 WGLegumeStar Fungicide STLegumeStar™ Select STManzate® MaxManzate® Pro-Stick™ (UPI)Manzate® Pro-Stick™ T&OMaxim® 480FSMaxim® 4FSMaxim® MZ FungicideMaxim® PSPMaxim® QuattroMaxim® XLMertect® 340-FMinuet™Mural™Nufarm T-Methyl SPC 4.5F FungicideNufarm T-Methyl SPC 50 WSB FungicideNufarm T-Methyl SPC Granular FungicideNusan® 30 E.C.Obvius® Fungicide Seed TreatmentObvius® Plus Fungicide Seed TreatmentOHP 6672™ 4.5 FOHP 6672™ 50 WPOrius® 3.6FOxiDate® 2.0OxiDate® 5.0OxiDate® Broad Spectrum Bactericide/FungicidePageant® Intrinsic® brand fungicidePegasus® DFXPenncozeb® 75DFPenncozeb® 80WPPeroxySan-CX Broad Spectrum Bactericide/FungicidePERpose Plus™Phiticide™Phoenix T-Bird® 4.5LPlantShield® HCPompaPrimeraOne® Chlorothalonil DFProsper® EverGol®PTZ 480 STPulse Premix 4L STPVent®Rampart® FungicideRancona® 3.8 FSRancona® ApexRancona® CrestRancona® Crest WRRancona® CTSRancona® PinnacleRancona® Spinach Seed Treatment FungicideRancona® Sugarbeets Seed Treatment FungicideRancona® SummitRancona® V 100 Pro FSRancona® V 100 Pro FSRancona® V PDRancona® Xxtra ProRaxil® 2.6FRedigo® 480Regalia®Relenya® Seed TreatmentReliant® Systemic FungicideRendition™Resist 57™Revylok™ FungicideRhapsody®Rhyme® FungicideRizolex® FungicideRootShield® GranulesRootShield® Plus GranulesRootShield® Plus WPRootShield® Seed TreatmentRootShield® WP Biological FungicideRoper® DFRoper® DF Rainshield™RubySalient 372 FSSaniDate® 12.0Sativa® 309 FSSeed Shield® BeansSeed Shield® CerealsSeed Shield® SoybeanSerenade® ASOSerenade® SoilSloganSoilgard®SoyStar™ Select STSparra™Spectro® 90 WDGSpirato® IMTm 348 FSSpirato® M 185 FSSpirato® MTm 285 FSSpirato™ 480 FSSporeQuell™ 15%Stamina® F³ HL fungicide seed treatmentStamina® fungicide seed treatmentStargus™STartUP™ FLUDI Seed TreatmentSTartUP™ TEBUZ Seed TreatmentSTartUP™ THIBN Seed TreatmentStorOx® 2.0Subtilex® NGSystiva® XS Xemium® Brand FungicideT-22™ HCT-Bird® 4.5LTaegro® 2Taegro® ECOTalaris™ 4.5 FTalaris™ 50 WSPTebu-Crop 3.6FTebucon® 3.6F FungicideTebuStar® 250 STTebuzol® 3.6FTee-Off® 4.5FTenet WPTerraClean® 5.0Thiabendazole 4L STThiophanate Methyl 85 WDGTimorex Act®Timorex Gold®TM 4.5F Select™Toledo®Trebuset™Triathlon® BATrilex® 2000Trilex® AdvancedTrinity® TR Total Release FungicideUnicorn DFUpShot™ Soybean Seed TreatmentVacciplant®Vacciplant®VAULT IP PLUS {B}Vault® IP PlusVectorite™ with CR-7 for Bumble Bee VectoringVectorite™ with CR-7 for Honey Bee VectoringVelum® TotalVibe™Vibrance® CincoVibrance® ExtremeVibrance® MaxxVibrance® QuattroVibrance® TrioVitaflo®-280Vitaflo®-280CVitavax® - 200Vortex® Seed Treatment FungicideWarden® CerealsWarden® Cereals 360Warden® Cereals HRWarden® Cereals IIWarden® Cereals WRWarden® Cereals WRIIWarden® CXWarden® CX IIWarden® RTA®Willowood Teb 3.6SCZeroTol® 2.0ZeroTol® HC