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National Agricultural Genotyping Center Announces New Tools in Corn Disease Identification
Identifying corn diseases and pursuing the best management plan available just got easier, faster and more cost effective due to new testing protocols announced today by the National Agricultural Genotyping Center located in Fargo, North Dakota. Corn has effective genetic resistance to many of the important diseases, according to Pete Snyder, President and CEO of NAGC, however, numerous challenges remain in identifying corn diseases in timely fashion. NAGC is targeting a couple of key diseases, Goss’s Wilt and Xanthomonas, in their first disease assays, or tests now available to corn farmers, agronomists and crop consultants. Cost savings from the actual testing are as much as 75 percent less with a move from single sample testing to utilizing 96 sample trays. NAGC is working with farmers via crop consultants and agronomists to streamline the process of collecting samples and ramping up the assay process. Goss’s wilt is a bacterial disease that may cause systemic infection and wilting of corn plants, as well as severe leaf blighting. Under the right conditions this disease can cause devastating damage with grain yield losses approaching 50%. Xanthomonas, another bacterial disease, is being targeted because it is often confused with Gray Leaf Spot leading to ineffective fungicide treatments and loss of income for farmers.