Spring has arrived, and following a relatively mild winter, southern Iowa corn is projected to be at high risk from Stewart's disease. This disease (also called Stewart's wilt) is a bacterial disease of corn caused byPantoea (Erwinia) stewartii. The bacterium survives the winter in the gut of hibernating corn flea beetles. In the spring, flea beetles move from overwintering sites and while feeding on the corn, can transmit the bacterium. The bacteria can only spread plant to plant with the assistance of the beetle; it cannot be transmitted from plant to plant. Unfortunately, field corn inbreds and sweet corn are particularly susceptible to this disease.
Iowa State University
Rice, Marlin E. and Pope, Richard O., "2006 predictions for corn flea beetles and Stewart's disease" (2006). Integrated Crop Management News. 1236.
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