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Tillage not answer to reducing tar spot risk

Contributing to another article for the Indiana Prairie Farmer, Dr. Dan Quinn, Extension Corn Specialist for the Department of Agronomy, weighed in on potential methods of prevention for tar spot. He joined a panel of Indiana certified crop advisors in answering the question:

Tar spot was here this year. Should we till fields to turn infected residue under? We’ve been leaving some stalks for no-till beans and running a vertical tillage tool. Will running a VT tool control tar spot?

Dr. Quinn is working with Dr. Darcy Telenko, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, to look at planting shorter-maturity hybrids early as an alternative. The goal is to have the crop mature ahead of disease development so yields are not hurt as much.

"Unfortunately, most tar spot research hasn’t found additional benefit in tar spot control from tillage.", said Dr. Quinn. "Therefore, more aggressive tillage or the use of a VT tool likely won’t provide any additional benefit. Once tar spot is found, it tends to persist in those fields moving forward. Better control of tar spot will come from hybrid selection, crop scouting and proper fungicide timing when needed."

Hear answers from the other panelists in the full article on FarmProgress.

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