Corn diseases on the comeback trail

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Corn diseases like northern corn leaf blight and diplodia ear rot are creeping into Ohio fields, according to Ohio State University agricultural specialists.

The diseases, placed on the back burner by Asian Soybean Rust and years of effective control, are returning mainly because some current hybrids lack resistance.

"This issue is concerning us because people are currently preoccupied with soybean rust," Peter Thomison, an Ohio State Extension agronomist, told Dealer and Applicator magazine. "High yielding hybrids are such a focus now that selecting for effective resistance to these diseases has been de-emphasized in the breeding process, and now they are showing up uncontrolled in certain fields. These are real issues that we hope seed companies and growers will start to address."

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