Southern Corn Rust Speeding up Harvest
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Corn harvest is at or past the half-way point in South Carolina says Kevin Phillips, Field Agronomist with DuPont Pioneer serving the Palmetto State and northern Georgia:

“I think overall we have an average crop. it seems to be a variable crop being good in some places and not good in other places. It seems to be related to the early planting and the cool weather in the spring.”

Phillips says that the earlier than normal appearance of corn rust changed the game plan when it came to harvest:

“Southern rust has taken some of the yield right off the top. It hasn’t caused lodging problems until lately. Corn harvest needs to be progressing rapidly because they have disease pressure on them.”

The area that Phillips oversees for DuPont Pioneer has historically had some very high yields entered in National Corn Growers national yield contest.  Phillips says there will be a few this year, in spite of the difficulties in the latter half of the growing season:

“I think we will see some yields that will go over 300 and into the high 300s. There are some really bright spots across the area. They are likely the ones with 3-5 fungicide applications.”

Fortunately, says Phillips, the bout with southern corn rust hasn’t affected quality of the grain:

“The quality has been good. Southern rust can affect test weights, but they have still been good this year. It really just affects the stalk strength so the fast harvest has helped us avoid those.”

Field Agronomist with DuPont Pioneer, Kevin Phillips.



A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.

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