Common Stalk Rot Diseases of Corn

Published 2014
Cover Display for EC1898

Stalk rot diseases of corn are common, occurring in every field to some extent. Each year stalk rot diseases cause about 5 percent yield loss. Under some conditions losses can exceed 10-20% and occasionally can be as high as 100%.

Stalk rot diseases can be caused by many fungi and bacteria. Most of these pathogens occur commonly in the field and behave opportunistically by primarily infecting senescing, injured, or stressed plants. Rotted, weakened stalks are prone to lodging, particularly if decay occurs below the ear.

This publication includes descriptions of stalk rot diseases common to Nebraska corn, including anthracnose, fusarium, gibberella, diplodia, charcoal, and bacterial. Also includes risk factors favoring stalk rots and scouting recommendations.

Publication Details


Tamra A. Jackson-Ziems

Jennifer M. Rees

Robert M Harveson


Plant Diseases

Publication Date September 23, 2009
Last Revision Date November 12, 2014
Language English

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Series Extension Circular