Annual reductions in corn (Zea mays L.) yield caused by diseases were estimated by university Extension-affiliated plant pathologists in 26 corn-producing states in the United States and in Ontario, Canada, from 2016 through 2019. Estimated loss from each disease varied greatly by state or province and year. Gray leaf spot (caused by Cercospora zeae-maydis Tehon & E.Y. Daniels) caused the greatest estimated yield loss in parts of the northern United States and Ontario in all years except 2019, and Fusarium stalk rot (caused by Fusarium spp.) also greatly reduced yield. Tar spot (caused by Phyllachora maydis Maubl.), a relatively new disease in the United States, was estimated to cause substantial yield loss in 2018 and 2019 in several northern states. Gray leaf spot and southern rust (caused by Puccinia polysora Underw.) caused the most estimated yield losses in the southern United States. Unfavorable wet and delayed harvest conditions in 2018 resulted in an estimated 2.5 billion bushels (63.5 million metric tons) of grain contaminated with mycotoxins. The estimated mean economic loss due to reduced yield caused by corn diseases in the United States and Ontario from 2016 to 2019 was US$55.90 per acre (US$138.13 per hectare). Results from this survey provide scientists, corn breeders, government agencies, and educators with data to help inform and prioritize research, policy, and educational efforts in corn pathology and disease management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science