Agronomy Session: Modern Considerations for Corn
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (CST)
Paul Carter Darcy Telenko Addie Thompson

This special session on agronomy is offered in partnership between ASTA and the Tri-Societies and features the following presentations:

"Corn Management Innovations, Past, Present and Future: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants"

Speaker: Paul Carter, Former University of Wisconsin Extension Agronomist/Professor & Pioneer (Corteva AgriSciences) Agronomy Manager

Synopsis: In this session, important crop management and crop physiology factors will be highlighted that interacted with genetics to generate past and present corn yield increase trends. A perspective will be shared on whether adjustments in these factors --- and additional factors --- will need to be considered and addressed for future yield gains. This may include adjusting crop physiology research priorities, plus adoption of emerging tools in soil biology, digital and predictive ag -- with consideration of increased climate variability and changing public and consumer perceptions of agriculture.  Several examples will be provided on research innovations of specific crop scientists that led to corn yield gains over the past decades to the present, plus example research of current scientists that will enable wise use of imminent new crop management opportunities.  

“Great Lakes Tar Spot Initiative: Mobilizing Research and Developing Resistance in Maize” 

Speakers: Darcy Telenko, Purdue University,  and Addie Thompson, Michigan State University

Synopsis: Tar spot of corn, caused by Phyllachora maydis, is a new and emerging disease in the upper Midwest. In 2018, it had a significant yield impact on corn production leading to yield losses of 20 to 60 bu/A. Tar spot was first observed in 2015, in both Indiana and Illinois, and has since been confirmed in Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The 2018 tar spot epidemic was the first time yield losses were documented in the U.S. Unfortunately, tar spot continues to spread to new locations. An overview of the tar spot epidemic, future risks to corn production in the United States, and ongoing research in breeding, epidemiology and management will be presented as we continue to improve our understanding of this new disease in corn. A large population of diverse temperate inbreds and tropical introgression lines in three Great Lakes states are under evaluation, with spectral imaging in two locations in order to establish a faster and more efficient approach for future scouting and screening. Results from the first year of this initiative will be presented with a goal of providing a valuable resource for future research and breeding that will be utilized by both the public and private sectors to reduce the impact of tar spot on farmers’ productivity.