Weeds and Diseases Pack One-Two Punch to Sweet Corn

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Diseases and weeds strike again and sweet corn yields are taking a beating. A recent University of Illinois study found that maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) and wild-proso millet have teamed up, and the pair are leading to to less than desirable results.

Marty Williams, associate professor of crop sciences and USDA-ARS ecologist, said the study aimed to identify how MDM incidence and weed interference influences sweet corn growth, phenological development and yield. MDM is the most prevalent viral disease of sweet corn in the United States, and wild-proso millet is one of the most problematic weeds. Although MDM and weed interference are two commonly occurring stresses in sweet corn, little was known about the combination of these stresses and their effect on sweet corn until now.

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