Time of concern: Seedling through ear formation
Key characteristics: Commonly found on the ears, tassels, and nodes, smut is a gall composed of a white, smooth covering containing black, greasy, or powdery spores.
- Smut of Sweet Corn Photo Collection
- A Checklist of Sweet Corn Diseases and Suggested Control Measures
- Organic management of common smut in sweet corn, page 71 in Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management
Scout the field two or three times per season. Where feasible, cut out all of the smut balls before they break open, and destroy them by fire or burial. No thresholds are available.
|Note(s)||Young galls are considered culinary delicacies in some cultures. Consider marketing galls to upscale markets.|
Varieties vary in susceptibility. Choose resistant varieties when possible. See Section 26.1 Recommended Varieties.
Plant only in fields where sweet or field corn has not been grown in the previous year.
|Seed selection/treatment||Seed treatment is not useful.|
|Postharvest||Crop debris should be destroyed as soon as possible to remove this source of disease for other plantings and to initiate decomposition.|
|Site selection and
|These are not currently viable management options.|
|Pesticides(s)||No pesticides are available to manage common smut.|