www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

'When God is silent' -3/6/2015, 9:14 AM

Take steps to better health with Walk Kansas -3/5/2015, 4:18 PM

Holy Week services -3/4/2015, 9:13 AM

Hydrant flushing begins Friday -3/4/2015, 4:00 PM

Are we strangers in our own homeland or not? -3/4/2015, 9:22 AM

Heartland Community Foundation partners with 16 nonprofit funds for Match Madness -3/3/2015, 2:41 PM

Hays advances to Round 2 of showdown -3/3/2015, 11:47 AM

'Focus' ends up adrift at box office -3/3/2015, 8:38 AM

Gloria changes 'lazy' to 'busy' as she prepares potatoes -3/3/2015, 8:38 AM

Take actions to reduce post-holiday stress -3/2/2015, 9:16 AM

Breeding costs in cow/calf operations have changed -3/1/2015, 4:49 PM

Clubs and meetings (March 1, 2015) -3/1/2015, 3:45 PM

Phillipsburg DCF worker honored by governor -2/27/2015, 4:49 PM

City starting burnout Monday -2/27/2015, 4:31 PM

Hays in running for hometown showdown -2/26/2015, 1:39 PM

Local forum set for March 24 -2/26/2015, 10:29 AM

Sharma advancing MIS surgery for HaysMed -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Lenten retreat March 14 in Hays -2/25/2015, 11:50 AM

Spring 2015 continues enrollment growth at FHSU -2/25/2015, 10:57 AM

Rose Garden hosting special event March 9 -2/24/2015, 11:32 AM

Gloria 'Daniel-izes' dessert -2/24/2015, 8:14 AM

Breaks might help post-holiday depression -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Upcoming farm bill and grain price projections -2/22/2015, 5:26 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 22, 2015) -2/22/2015, 3:17 PM

Birthday -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

Extension offers advice for passing down farm or ranch -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

A smile is friendly magic -2/18/2015, 4:56 PM

'Fifty Shades of Grey' is only slightly painful -2/17/2015, 8:44 AM

An easy-to-make, tasty food treat -2/17/2015, 4:18 PM

There are several ways to deal with post-holiday blues -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

Kochia control in early spring for fields in wheat -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:27 PM

A mother-in-law's example of faith shows transformation -2/13/2015, 9:26 AM

Birthday -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Elevate your marriage during National Marriage Week -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Taking time to have a little laugh during life's busyness -2/11/2015, 8:51 AM

Lions Club convention March 7 in Hays -2/10/2015, 4:10 PM

HaysMed welcomes new pulmonologist -2/10/2015, 1:35 PM

'SpongeBob Movie' is what you make it out to be -2/10/2015, 9:01 AM

Remembering Valentine's Days from years ago -2/9/2015, 10:07 AM

Signs can be revealing while recognizing depression -2/9/2015, 10:06 AM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 4:26 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 3:32 PM

County Extension has farm bill information available -2/8/2015, 3:31 PM

Kansas 4-H Foundation names new president/CEO -2/5/2015, 3:32 PM

Freezer-ready slow-cooker meals can be safe and delicious -2/5/2015, 9:36 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Feb. 5, 2015) -2/5/2015, 8:15 AM

Youngsters look back through generations on KS Day -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

Dealing with illness, vaccines through the years -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

'Project Almanac' misallocates its resources -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Church services a busy time -2/3/2015, 9:47 AM

Many things can cause post-holiday depression -2/2/2015, 9:13 AM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 1, 2015) -2/1/2015, 4:32 PM

Nex-Tech names a studio space in Hammond Hall on FHSU campus -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Castle Rock Casiono Resort submits application for project -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Dreiling/Schmidt radiation oncology receives accreditation -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/30/2015, 9:54 AM

Bible is playbook to super life, not Super Bowl, victory -1/30/2015, 8:23 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/29/2015, 2:02 PM

Extension offers regional estate planning workshops -1/29/2015, 9:36 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsoring CPR training -1/28/2015, 1:46 PM

Hays Academy of Hair Designs sweeps competition -1/28/2015, 12:06 PM

Hospital restrictions in place at HaysMed -1/28/2015, 10:25 AM

Battling the flu -1/28/2015, 10:06 AM

Comedian, author Rainn Wilson coming to FHSU -1/27/2015, 1:37 PM

Serving up a unique treat with frogmore stew -1/27/2015, 9:12 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsors coffee, conversation -1/26/2015, 11:04 AM

Many can suffer from seasonal disorders -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 25, 2015) -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Winter, spring options for winter annual weed control in wheat -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Bishop from Ghana visits area -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Eating well while spending less actually is possible -1/22/2015, 9:55 AM

One of 5 finalists for FHSU provost position withdraws -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Away from home, and longing to be back in Kansas -1/21/2015, 8:44 AM

New Year babies abound at Rooks County Health -1/20/2015, 1:37 PM

'American Sniper' hits its mark in U.S. theaters -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

HaysMed leads patient safety program -1/20/2015, 9:22 AM

HaysMed joins trend, expands Point of Service collections -1/19/2015, 1:46 PM

Couture-Lovelady assigned to House Rules Committee -1/19/2015, 11:22 AM

Watch out for effects of post-holiday depression -1/19/2015, 8:38 AM

Save some trouble, get agriculture leases in writing -1/18/2015, 3:14 PM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 18, 2015) -1/18/2015, 3:13 PM

-1/18/2015, 2:00 PM

Hays to host Western region farmers market conference -1/17/2015, 3:23 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 17, 2015) -1/17/2015, 3:14 PM

Going crazy with a series of new projects -1/16/2015, 2:09 PM

Nex-Tech acquires Computer Solutions -1/15/2015, 2:01 PM

Senior Companion honored -1/14/2015, 2:49 PM

Lang Diesel donates $1,000 to elementary school -1/13/2015, 2:58 PM

For Your Information (Jan. 13, 2015) -1/13/2015, 1:37 PM

Inside a daughter's mind; making play dough for children -1/13/2015, 9:57 AM

Holidays can be manageable, even as a stepfamily -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 12, 2015) -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 11, 2015) -1/11/2015, 4:00 PM

Calling all precision agriculture geeks -1/11/2015, 3:51 PM

1st film in series on water to feature Cheyenne Bottoms, KWEC -1/9/2015, 4:27 PM

Female farmers shift production trends -1/9/2015, 4:09 PM

Halls of Ivy -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Spotting stalk rot in grain sorghum

Published on -9/28/2013, 1:57 PM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

Sorghum harvest is getting near. One of the few remaining potential stumbling blocks to a successful crop could be lodging -- often caused by stalk rot. Stalk rot can be an even bigger problem in grain sorghum than in corn due to a generally thinner stalk in sorghum.

Annual losses are difficult to determine, because unless lodging occurs, the disease goes mostly unnoticed. The best estimates are at least 5 percent of the sorghum crop is lost each year to stalk rot -- severe cases could create yield losses of 50 percent. The most obvious losses occur when plants lodge. More important could be the yield losses that go unnoticed.

In sorghum, these losses are caused by reduced head size, poor filling of grain and early head lodging as plants mature early.

In grain sorghum, the two most common types of stalk rot are charcoal rot and Fusarium stalk rot. Although caused by many different organisms, the symptoms of the various stalk rots are somewhat similar. Symptoms generally appear several weeks after pollination, when the plant appears to prematurely ripen. The leaves become dry, taking on a grayish-green appearance similar to frost injury. The stalk usually dies a few weeks later. Diseased stalks can be crushed easily when squeezed between the thumb and finger and are more susceptible to lodging during wind or rainstorms. The most characteristic symptom of stalk rot is the shredding of the internal tissue in the lowest internodes of the stalk, which can be observed when the stalk is split. This shredded tissue might be tan, red or salmon colored (Fusarium stalk rots); or grayish-black (charcoal rot).

Hot, droughty weather with soil temperatures in the range of 90 degrees or more are ideal for the development of charcoal rot. Drought does not cause the problem, but it weakens the plants' defenses to the disease. Charcoal rot is usually less severe if drought stress is reduced. A good rule of thumb to discern charcoal rot from drought stress is plants will die prematurely about two earlier.

Fusarium stalk rot is favored by dry conditions early in the season, which decreases nutrient solubility, making the nutrients unavailable to the plant. Later in the season, following pollination, warm (82 to 86 degrees), wet weather can leach remaining nutrients from the soil resulting in late-season nitrogen stress and an increase in stalk rot.

Stalk rot is a stress-related disease. Any stress on a crop can increase both the incidence and severity of stalk rot. Research has indicated when the carbohydrates used to fill the grain become unavailable due to nutrient shortage, drought stress, leaf loss from insects, hail, disease or reduced sunlight, the plant uses nitrogen and carbohydrate reserves stored in the stalk to complete grain fill. This loss of nitrogen and carbohydrate reserves weakens stalk tissues and results in increased stalk rot susceptibility. Early maturing hybrids are generally more susceptible than full-season hybrids.

Other than irrigation or rain, there is little that can be done to prevent stalk rot by late summer. No hybrid has complete immunity to the stalk rotting pathogens. When choosing a hybrid, a grower should select a hybrid that is not only a high yielder, but one that has good standability and "stay-green" characteristics.

This will help assure that if stalk rot does occur, losses due to lodging will be minimal. A balanced nutrition program based on soil tests should be used.

Overall fertility levels should be adjusted to fit the hybrid, plant population, soil type, environmental conditions and management program. An excess or shortage of nitrogen can lead to increased stalk rot problems.

Producers can check their sorghum for stalk rots by squeezing the lower stem with their thumb and fingers. If the stalks crush easily, they are probably infected with one of the stalk rot organisms and could lodge at any time. Check 100 plants across the field to determine the percent of affected plants. If the percentage of stalk-rot-infected plants is high, sorghum should be harvested as soon as possible, even if it hasn't dried down adequately in the field. If the stalks are firm, the plants probably will be able to stand just fine in the field for several more weeks.

Rotation with non-susceptible crops, such as small grains and alfalfa, will reduce the severity of stalk rot but will not eliminate it. A good insect control program is a must in limiting losses to stalk rot. Pathogens can enter stalks or roots through wounds created by insects. Hail damage generally will increase the amount of stalk rot damage.

For more information, see "Stalk Rots of Corn and Sorghum," K-State publication L-741, at www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/L741.pdf.

Stacy Campbell is Ellis County agricultural agent with Kansas State Research and Extension.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos