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New corn disease discovered in the United States

Bacterial leaf streak found in Illinois and Iowa

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Researchers from the University of Illinois discovered a new corn disease in a field in DeKalb County.

Bacterial leaf streak, a disease that can make kernels weigh less, has also been found in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska.

Little is known about how damaging the disease is or how to treat it.

According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, symptoms of bacterial leaf streak can appear similar to gray leaf spot.


Symptoms include brown to yellow streaks between leaf veins, lesions on older leaves, and yellow discoloration.

Foliar fungicides used to treat gray leaf spot may not work on bacterial leaf streak.

"There's a chance for having the disease because it's present in the residue," John Hennenfent, owner of Munson Hybrids in Galesburg, Illinois, told WQAD.

University of Illinois Extension educator Angie Peltier said everyone needs to be extra diligent when scouting their fields.

"It may be one thing we don't see every year," Hennenfent told WQAD.  "We'll have to really kind of hone our senses as we're out in the fields."

“We’re all going to be in a learning mode for the next year or two,” she said.

Farmers who believe they may have bacterial leaf streak in their fields are encouraged to contact the University of Illinois Plant Clinic or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic.

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