Goss’s Wilt Outbreak Highlights Need for Tolerant Hybrids

Goss’s Wilt Outbreak Highlights Need for Tolerant Hybrids

• Illinois growers now seeing severe outbreak of Goss’s bacterial wilt resulting in significant yield loss
• Planting hybrids that are Goss’s wilt tolerant is recommended as the most effective way to manage the disease
• Syngenta offers a wide range of hybrids with proven tolerance to Goss’s wilt and include Agrisure® traits for maximum performance potential

Growers across Illinois are seeing corn plants dying early due to a severe outbreak of Goss’s bacterial wilt, a disease that can kill plants within weeks of infection and cause yield losses approaching 50 percent during severe epidemics. Cases of Goss’s Wilt have also been confirmed in areas of Iowa, southern Minnesota and Nebraska.

“This is the first time that we have seen Goss’s wilt in Illinois this wide spread this early,” said Todd Thumma, Syngenta agronomist. “Goss’s wilt has typically been more prevalent in the western Corn Belt, but until now it had been very sporadic in Illinois. This is a persistent and economically serious disease with potentially devastating results which highlights the need for growers’ in affected areas to plant proven Goss’s wilt tolerant hybrids.”

Goss’s wilt is often misdiagnosed as drought stress or other foliar diseases, especially in areas where it is not typically prevalent. Symptoms of Goss’s wilt include gray to tan lesions on the leaves that follow the leaf veins with small dark green or black “freckles” within the infections. Another tell-tale sign is a glossy appearance to the affected leaves, due to bacterial exudates. It is often more of an issue in continuous corn, but can be seen in rotated fields as well.

Once Goss’s wilt is present in a grower’s field, it will always be present and with suitable environmental conditions can recur in following seasons. Therefore, planting hybrids that are Goss’s wilt tolerant can be an effective way to manage the disease since it is bacterial and cannot be treated with fungicide. Additionally, burying infected residue, rotating crops and using pre-emergence herbicide products can help reduce occurrences.

For all of the affected areas, Syngenta offers a wide range of hybrids that have proven tolerant to Goss’s wilt and include Agrisure® traits for maximum performance potential. Products are rated for disease tolerance on a scale of one to nine with a one rating equaling the highest tolerance.

To ensure tolerance, Syngenta screens both potential and current hybrids for Goss’s wilt tolerance under in–field disease conditions. This rigorous rating, along with diverse genetics, enables Syngenta to bring to market hybrids that deliver strong tolerance to Goss’s wilt and other yield-robbing diseases.

“In-field screening has proven more effective than greenhouse-only testing and our observations in the field this season confirm that Syngenta hybrids rated tolerant to Goss’s wilt are providing superior performance versus competitors for growers facing this disease,” said Eric Boersma, Syngenta corn genetics portfolio manager. “Syngenta has one of the deepest corn germplasm pools in the industry. This, in combination with our screening and rating for Goss’s wilt, allows us to recommend specific hybrids that are highly tolerant and help growers maximize their yield.”

For more information or to find the products best suited for your specific disease, pest or soil needs, visit www.syngentaseeds.com or speak with your local Garst®, Golden Harvest® or NK® representative.

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08.10.2011