Friday, August 19, 2011

Goss's Wilt

The farmers on Crop Talk have been talking a lot about their problems or lack of them with Goss's Wilt which is rampant across the corn belt.

I posed the question could it related to the early crosses of genetic modification or the adjuvants in Round Up which are so popular they are used in many other chemicals like fungicides which are becoming more popular each growing season.

One reader posted some good points I share today.

"Ed, I am by no means formally educated enough in plant breeding or agronomy to give an educated opinion on gmo vs. non-gmo regarding goss's wilt. However, from my limited experience with Goss's and what l have read/seen, l will gladly share my thoughts.

The hybrids that have suffered from Goss's around here, some quite poorly in coc, have all been from monsanto, which leads me to hope that it is the result of a poor choice in one of the inbreds used to make the hybrids, possibly the inbred was choosen because it would "accept" the gmo traits bettter than another inbred and resistance to Goss's was not as high a priority to the breeder as was getting a hybrid to the market place.

I did see a large plot that had one hybrid planted in two locations in the same plot, with different plating dates, that showed drastically different effects from Goss's, one location in the plot, Goss's had taken it's toll on the hybrid and the later planting date only exhibited mild symtoms.

The difference was thought to have been caused by the different stages of growth that the hybrid was in (caused by different planting dates) when a small hail and wind storm hit the plot, damaging plant tissue and allowing Goss's to infect the plants. Currently, l think the only way to deal with Goss's is hybrid selection along with making your soil as healthy as possible thru grid soil tests and tissue tests and lest I forget, cover crops. Talk again soon. Thanks."

He might be not be trained in genetics, but like me, a farmer learns a lot planting seeds and watching them grow over a lifetime. When you try to nurture a crop to its most productivity, you wonder why when it doesn't.

Goss's Wilt has a lot of people thinking.

Ed Winkle

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