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How Do I Handle Moldy Corn?

Oct 26, 2011

Question: I’ve got a number of acres with moldy corn this year. What’s that going to mean for my fields next year? 

Answer: If you’re in continuous corn, your fields have a higher risk of having mold or fungus if they’ve been infected before. If that’s your situation, you need to evaluate the susceptibility of the hybrids you plant to ear molds. Talk with your seed dealer about that as you evaluate hybrids for next spring. If you’re using minimum tillage or no-till practices, the residue also can increase your risk of mold. If you can, rotate crops and consider using tillage, which can lower the risk from the disease inoculum. Tillage won’t eliminate the problem, though. Temperature, moisture and humidity also impact mold growth or the lack of it. I would encourage you to have a sample of your corn tested by your university Extension service to determine the specific type of mold or fungus your corn has. Knowing that will also help you figure out what practices to implement next season.
Here are several resources that can help you address moldy corn and/or fungal growth in corn.
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