Tar spot a concern for silage growers too


Tar spot a concern for silage growers too

Tar spot photo by Mike Toohill

An agronomist says a downfall of tar spot some farmers may not think about is its negative impact on corn cut for silage.

Beck’s Hybrids Regional Agronomy Manager Jon Skinner says the disease robs moisture that is critical for quality silage.

“We do see rapid dry-down of the plant, so moisture content of the silage often becomes too dry to ferment or pack in those bunkers.”  

He says fields with tar spot that see that rapid dry down have a higher lignin content but,

“On a good note, there have been no mycotoxins associated with this disease.”

Since the identification of tar spot in 2015, the disease has spread across much of the Midwest and has become a serious concern for most corn growers heading into the 2022 season. Skinner says when tar spot causes stalks to lay down it complicates harvest for both grain and silage.

Skinner spoke during a recent tar spot management webinar hosted by Beck’s Hybrids.