New breakthrough in the battle against corn tar spot

by | May 10, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

This week Bayer Crop Science announced a new breakthrough in the battle against tar spot. Bayer researchers have developed a method to artificially inoculate tar spot in Bayer field test plots. This will give Bayer Crop Science a leg up in better understanding tar spot as it continues to develop products to fight the fungal disease in corn.

Dekalb technical agronomist Jim Donnelly says that because tar spot is still relatively new to the United States, it has been difficult to learn as much about the disease as some other common threats.

One of the main aims of the Bayer team is to increase tar spot tolerance in its corn hybrids through precision breeding technology.

Donnelly says that before finding a way to artificially introduce tar spot to test plots, researchers had to wait for it to occur naturally with mixed results.

While Bayer continues to work towards the future of better protecting crops from tar spot, Donnelly says that farmers do have tools to fight tar spot in their fields this growing season.

The Bayer company says it invested more than $2.6 billion in 2022 into research and development with the aim of developing future products such as corn hybrids with increased tar spot tolerance.