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Causal Agent: 

Fungus (Ustilago maydis)

Characteristic Symptoms:
 
Head smut symptoms first appear when ears and tassels are formed
   
Galls with white membrane are formed on the tassel and ear but rarely on the leaves.
   
Conditions for Disease Development:
 
Low soil moisture and dry weather with 78o - 95o F are favourable for infection.
   
The disease is most common in soils with nitrogen deficiencies.
   
Heavy manure in the field is also favorable for the common smut development.
   
Management and Control:
 
Avoid mechanical injury.
   
Maintain balanced fertilization.
   
Apply fungicides such as  chlorothalonil (e.g. Daconil®, Agronil®, Yoda®, Rover®, Yoda 500Ⓡ), azoxystrobin (Amistar®, MiradorⓇ, RobatoⓇ), tebuconazole (e.g. Folicur 25 WPⓇ, OriousⓇ).
 
 
   

References

The CIMMYT Maize Program. 2003. Maize Diseases: A Guide for Field Identification. 4th edition. Mexico, D.F.: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

To view other diseases,  click here.

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