Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
Maize southern leaf blight (080)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds


  • Worldwide distribution. In tropics and sub-tropics. On sorghum and grasses. Occasional outbreaks have been serious. 
  • Spots merge and cause leaves to dry and die. Spores on undersides of leaves spread in wind and rain splash.
  • The blight survives in debris, and on 'volunteers'.
  • In the 1970s, in the US and elsewhere, a strain of the fungus (Race T), caused an epidemic, and resulted in ear rot, ear drop and lodging, and a large loss of yield. Race O is the common strain in the tropics and causes minor crop loss.
  • Cultural control: resistant varieties; remove volunteers; provide mineral fertilizers or manures; wide spacing to reduce humidity; collect trash at harvest, compost or feed to livestock; plough-in remains; crop rotation.
  • Chemical control: only use if resistant varieties are not available (main control method); use chlorothalonil or mancozeb. Apply when spots first appear.

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