Southern Corn Leaf Blight


Southern Corn Leaf Blight (SCLB), a fungal disease instigated by the pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus, primarily targets corn but can also affect other cereal crops. The disease can cause substantial yield loss, with severe infections sometimes resulting in total loss.

SCLB primarily impairs the leaves of the corn, reducing photosynthesis and consequently yield. The lesions can merge to cover large portions of the leaf surface, causing significant leaf blight. This can lead to premature death of the leaves, further diminishing the yield.

Lesions on the husks can hinder kernel development, while those on the ears can cause the kernels to shrivel and darken. This not only reduces the yield but also compromises the quality of the corn.

SCLB can also indirectly impact the corn by increasing its susceptibility to other diseases and pests. It can heighten the risk of stalk rot, as the disease weakens the stalks, making them more prone to breakage.

How to Identify Southern Corn Leaf Blight

Prompt detection of SCLB is vital for effective management and control. SCLB is identifiable by elongated, tan to brown lesions on the leaves, usually 1 to 2 inches long and about 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide. These lesions, often rectangular and bordered by the leaf veins, may exhibit a slight yellow halo.

The disease can also manifest on the husks and ears of the corn. On the husks, the lesions resemble those on the leaves, while on the ears, they are more irregular and can lead to shriveled and darkened kernels.

Regional Impact of Southern Corn Leaf Blight

Although SCLB is most common in the southern United States, it can also occur in other corn-growing regions, particularly those with warm and humid climates.

Timing of Southern Corn Leaf Blight

The disease typically emerges in the mid to late growing season, during the corn's tasseling to dough stage. However, under favorable conditions, SCLB can appear as early as the seedling stage.

How to Manage Southern Corn Leaf Blight

To manage Southern Corn Leaf Blight, our agronomists recommend planting resistant hybrids. FBN® offers a 113-day conventional corn hybrid F2F1C-139 that has a score of 8 out of 9 in Southern Corn Leaf Blight disease tolerance.

Always consult the product labels and follow the manufacturer's instructions for specific application rates based on your crop and pest management needs.


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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.

Every product that labels SOUTHERN CORN LEAF BLIGHT 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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