IDOA officials: Tar Spot disease confirmed in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Department of Agriculture officials say tar spot, a disease that can affect corn, has been confirmed in Illinois.

IDOA officials say the initial tar spot diagnoses were made by the Purdue University Plant Diagnostic Clinic, and official confirmation was made by the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service.  Officials also say tar spot findings were confirmed in three Illinois counties; Bureau, DeKalb, and LaSalle.

IDOA officials are urging Illinois farmers to check their corn for tar spot.  Tar spot leaves brown-colored lesions on leaves, followed by spore-producing, black-colored structures which give affected leaves a bumpy texture.  Tar spot favors high humidity and cool temperatures, and is not known to infect other species or to be seedborne.

Illinois is the second state to have a positive confirmation for tar spot, the first being Indiana.  Officials also say the disease was previously found in Mexico, as well as Central America and South America.

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