Scouting for Ear Rots

Gibberella ear rot. Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Every year, a variety of diseases, fungi, and molds are present on ears as plants near harvest. Correctly identifying what culprits are present may influence your harvest prioritization, grain management and handling, or even next year’s cropping plan.

Fusarium ear rot. Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Examine the fields carefully. Effective scouting helps you build better records. Better records help you make better choices on subsequent crops.

Conditions have been favorable this season for the development of ear molds.

Scouting should be done by fully exposing 20 ears from five different locations in the field. Assess the full ear from the shank to the silk tips including the husks for any abnormalities. Compare ears gathered noting from which part of the field they came. Carefully document with notes and/or photos.

Talk with your AgVenture Yield Specialist for support in identifying ear rots. Your AYS can also help you develop your next year cropping plan and hybrid selection based on ear rot diseases found.

Photos: Gibberella and fusarium ear rot examples; courtesy of University of Nebraska-Lincoln.