Plant pathologists working at universities across 26 corn-producing states in the United States and in Ontario, Canada, compiled data about annual corn reductions caused by diseases. Estimated loss from each disease varied greatly by region.
“This group of plant pathologists takes a step back to estimate what has gone wrong in corn fields in each of their states,” said Iowa State University plant pathologist Daren Mueller, who was involved in this project. “Collectively, and across years, corn disease loss estimates provide folks a zoomed out view of what diseases are affecting corn in the U.S. and Canada.”
To Mueller, these data represent one of the pieces of a good research project. Researchers can use these data to justify new research projects that can help mitigate the impacts of certain diseases. These data can also serve as a benchmark to measure the impact their research might have on corn production.
“It’s interesting to compare the losses over the years,” Mueller said. “We started doing these estimates in 2012.” All diseases loss data are posted on the Crop Protection Network. Mueller is also encouraged by the excellent collaboration among scientists across so many states.
The last four years of their data are compiled in an article recently published in Plant Health Progress. According to Mueller, “If you grow, breed, scout, study, eat, or really anything with corn, it is good to know what can go wrong when growing the crop. This article provides an overview of the effect of diseases on corn over the past four years.”