A fungal disease prevalent in the Upper Midwest and other parts of the Corn Belt could soon expand its presence in Northeast Missouri. University of Missouri Extension is advising farmers in several counties to scout their fields for corn tar spot. Plant Pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette explains how the disease is caused and spreads.
Four counties in Northeast Missouri—Clark, Lewis, Marion and Scotland—have seen the disease, which causes black spots to appear inside the corn leaf. Bissonnette says Extension continues to assess the extent of the disease.
MU Extension Plant Pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette identified Audrain, Knox, Monroe, Pike, Ralls and Shelby counties as potential areas where corn tar spot could next appear. Farmers who believe their corn crops may have been impacted are asked to contact their local Extension office and send a sample to the MU Plant Diagnostics Lab.