Corn disease, weather affect crop yields in Kansas

Corn Harvest (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Corn Harvest (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) – A corn disease that is new to the heartland is infecting Kansas crops.

The Hutchinson News reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of the bacterial leaf streak in a swath that goes from Pratt County to Edwards County in late August.

Justin Gatz, a Preston-area farmer and crop consultant, says the disease probably contributed to this year’s decline in corn yield, but that weather was also a factor.

Kansas State University said that the department began a survey of cornfields across the region after the disease was discovered in samples submitted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014. It’s unknown how it entered the U.S.

The disease has been found in about a dozen states, including Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma.