Reports of Goss's wilt are expanding north and east in corn-growing areas of the U.S. and in parts of Canada. The bacterial disease, which typically occurs as the result of hail events and storms, can cause significant yield loss. Pioneer Hi-Bred experts say growers need to assess its potential impact to help choose resistant lines for next season where the disease is present. These assessments will guide growers' seed decisions and help minimize the potential for yield loss.
The disease has been reported recently in Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Manitoba, Canada. Once established, the disease can surface in any given year. There aren't any fungicides that control the disease and early infections can cause up to 50% yield loss. Other agronomic issues like stalk lodging may result from fields that have died prematurely from Goss's wilt, resulting in further yield loss and lower quality grain.
For more than 25 years - Pioneer has amassed the industry's largest collection of Goss's wilt inoculums. To combat any potential shift in strains of Goss's wilt, they actively collect samples from all over the country and grow the bacterium to use in their screening program. It's one of the most robust disease-screening programs in the industry. Pioneer says continued screening of genetic material, identification of sources of resistance using all available technologies, including molecular markers, and recombination into new, improved hybrids are all instrumental in prevailing against Goss's wilt.