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September 13, 2011

Heat, Drought and Goss’s Wilt Can Affect Corn Yields in Iowa

Ames, Iowa — August 31, 2011


Steve Ensley, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, 515-294-1950,

Alison Robertson, Plant Pathology and Microbiology, 515-294-6708,

Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Beef Center, 515-294-4496,

Since its initial identification in United States corn fields more than 40 years ago, Goss’s Wilt hasn’t been a serious problem for most Iowa locations. . In the past few years, however, the disease has become more common. This year the bacterial disease was identified in the state much earlier than in past years, prompting some concern among those whose fields previously had not been affected.

Goss’s Wilt is caused by the bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis (Cmn) which enters the plant through wounds that can be caused by rain, wind, hail, or insect damage. Drought stressed plants may be more susceptible to such wounds, and subsequent bacterial infection, but Steve Ensley of Iowa State University’s (ISU) Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine department said drought stress presents a much bigger potential problem than Goss’s Wilt for livestock producers.

“Nitrate concentration or cyanide concentration in drought-stressed corn can be a serious threat to livestock use,” Ensley said. “Nitrate is converted to nitrite in the rumen, and nitrite converts blood hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which cannot transport oxygen to body tissues. Cyanide concentration, also known as prussic acid poisoning, works in a similar manner. In both cases, animals often die because of lack of oxygen.”

ISU scientists and others said there are no reported issues with feeding Goss’s-infected corn grain, stalks, or silage to cattle, and there is no scientific evidence supporting harm to cattle caused by this bacterium.

Because the Goss’s Wilt bacteria can overwinter in crop residue for several months, continuous corn acres and low- or no-till fields are at higher risk for developing Goss’s Wilt. In a recent article for ISU’s Integrated Crop Management newsletter, ISU plant pathologist Alison Robertson said there are steps farmers can take to reduce the survival rate of the responsible bacterium in future years.

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Crop News

    July 22, 2014

  • Iowa Soybean Association offers online soybean harvest reports, photos, information

    The Iowa Soybean Association is offering a new online resource to assist you in reporting on this year’s soybean harvest and other issues concerning Iowa soybean farmers.

    The Iowa Soybean Association’s “The Soybean Brief” is updated regularly and found online at You can also go directly to the ISA website ( and click on the link to the brief.  Coming soon, the site will feature a state map providing real-time harvest results.

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    “The dry weather last week helped crops continue to dry down and allowed nearly half of the state’s soybeans to be harvested.  Unfortunately, fire does remain a risk as the dry weather persists, so farmers should continue to take extra care while working in their fields,” Northey said.  “Harvest remains slightly ahead of the five-year average and will likely continue to advance rapidly if conditions remain dry.”

    October 12, 2011

  • Producers are Encouraged to Monitor Grain this Fall

    As harvest begins around the state, farmers are encouraged to be aware of the potential for development of molds and fungus in corn. Recent warnings by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach’s Integrated Crop Management (ICM) staff about hail-damaged corn in northwest Iowa help draw attention to the issue, according to ISU Extension swine program specialist Matt Swantek.

    October 12, 2011

  • Soybean Association Responds to USDA Crop Report

    According to today’s United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop report, soybean production is forecast at 3.06 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the September estimate of 3.09 billion bushels and down 8 percent from last year. The average soybean yield for the United States is now estimated at 41.5 bushels per acre, down from the 41.8 bushels per acre predicted last month.

    For Iowa, production is estimated at 467.6 million bushels, compared to 464.6 million bushels forecast in September. Iowa yield estimates are for an average of 50.5 bushels per acre, down from the September prediction of 51 bushels per acre.

    October 12, 2011

  • Iowa Soybean Association, Taiwanese delegation sign letter of inten

    On September 30, under the unmistakable gold dome of the Iowa State Capitol, members of the Taiwan Agricultural Goodwill Mission and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) signed a letter of intent for the Taiwanese purchase of U.S. soy products.

    October 12, 2011

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