Minnesota corn farmers battling Goss's wilt disease


Minnesota farmers are grappling with a corn disease that "has come on like a tidal wave, washing across the Corn Belt from Minnesota to the Texas panhandle," the New York Times reports.

The disease starts with a microbe that enters corn plant wounds, often after storm damage, and infects the plant's vascular system. It then scars the leaves with brownish splotches and typically curbs yields.

Few farmers had even seen the disease known as Goss's wilt until five years ago, the Times reports. The disease that threatens to slash some farmers’ yields in half has marched to Louisiana this year, further south than ever, the Times reports.

The disease is on the radar of University of Minnesota researchers, who say it first surfaced in the state in 2009.

It was first spotted again this year in early August in south central Minnesota, U researchers say.

Here's more info about the disease from the University of Nebraska. It was named for named for veteran Nebraask plant pathologist R. W. Goss.

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