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Sizing Up the Disease Pyramid

August 14, 2013
By: Ellie Murphy, Farm Journal Media Intern

No hybrid is bulletproof when it comes to disease. Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie discusses the Disease Pyramid and what it means for hybrid selection and seasonal scouting in Episode 7 of Corn College TV Season 3.

The Disease Pyramid has three components: pathogen, host, and conditions. Monitoring pathogens, selecting the appropriate hybrid, and monitoring environmental conditions are all part of a proactive disease management plan.

(Click here to order Corn College TV Education Series on DVD.) 

 "The one thing good about disease is that it doesn’t happen overnight," Ferrie says." You have to have a sequence of days in a row when the environment is right for that disease." To counteract these environmental conditions, Ferrie suggests changing tillage practices, reconfiguring crop rotations, and experimenting with fungicide treatments to help manage the disease spectrum.

Watch Episode 7 below to hear more about disease monitoring from the Farm Journal Field Agronomists.

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