Old, previously unseen crop diseases found in New York

Identified corn disease has not been seen in region in 30 years, soybean disease never seen previously

Research by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has found a corn disease not seen in the region in 30 years, and a soybean disease new to New York.

The report, “Diagnosis and Assessment of Diseases of Corn and Soybean in Northern New York,” says head smut was found on corn in Jefferson County. Head smut has not been identified in New York since the 1980s, according to the report, which said the finding was “surprising.”

On soybeans, the northern stem canker, which has never been identified or documented in New York, was found. The northern stem canker was identified in nine soybean fields in western New York, which the report said indicates that this previously unknown disease may be widespread and undermanaged throughout the area.

The report also found that northern corn leaf blight was widespread, though not universal. It says white mold and northern stem canker are “potentially serious” soil-borne diseases with “long-term implications for crop rotation sequence” and that these diseases deserve further assessment in the region.

Also, the report says soybean cyst nematode was not found in any of the 28 soil samples collected, but that scouting will continue into 2015. If soybean cyst nematode is confirmed, more intense testing would be needed and affected farms would need to plant soybean varieties with resistance to the nematode.