Southern vs. common rust: It’s all in the colors: Part I

Growers may need to think about the colors of their favorite football teams when it comes to deciding whether to treat for Southern rust, a plant disease that can cause significant yield reductions in corn.

Travis Faske, Extension plant pathologist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, says Tennessee orange-colored pustules in corn are more than likely Southern rust pathogens. The Arkansas Razorback red – that’s more likely to be common rust.

What’s the difference – a fungicide application which may be needed for Southern rust, but not for common rust, according to Faske. He was a speaker during the corn stop at this year’s Milan No-Till Field Day in Milan, Tenn. The every-other-year field day drew several hundred participants on a wet, cloudy day.

For more on the Milan No-Till Field Day, visit

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