There has been a few incidence this year of some corn plants that remained green even though they had lodged. In fact they stayed green for up to three weeks before eventually dying. The cause was Pythium stalk rot which is not all that common in Ontario.

Why the "stay-green"? The most likely reason is that although the rind and pith was disintegrated (brown, soft and watery) near the first node or base of the plant, the nutrient and water conducting (vascular) tissue was not destroyed by the fungus. Your nose can be used in the diagnosis since infected plants will often have a strong rotting odour as the tissue decays or rots.

Pythium is a water loving fungus and we all know that moisture was not limiting this year. Quite the opposite. Add the cool to warm temperatures and you have the ideal conditions for Pythium development.

Back to Top