Survey of Corn Disease Management Practices

April 12, 2010

By Alison Robertson, Department of Plant Pathology

Within the next week, some of you may receive a survey from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the mail. This survey is targeted at certified crop advisors (CCAs) in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio. A similar survey will be sent to corn growers in each state in a few weeks. Extension field crop specialists, Alison Robertson (ISU), Carl Bradley (UWI), Pierce Paul (OSU) and Paul Esker (UW) have received funding from the USDA- National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program to conduct this survey. We hope to understand the risks corn growers face, and the tools crop advisors recommend growers use to improve yields. The information gathered from the survey will be used to develop educational materials and tools for corn growers and crop advisors to better manage corn diseases.

In addition to the survey, we also received funding to conduct field trials in all four states for four years. The goal of these trials is to develop thresholds for major foliar diseases.  In years three and four of the study, thresholds will be tested in eight to ten on-farm trials in each state.

Only a small sample of mid-western crop advisors and corn growers is being asked to participate in this study. Thus, it is very important that everyone who receives a questionnaire completes it and returns it. All those who receive a survey will remain anonymous to us researchers. Although participation is voluntary, this is an important opportunity for you to contribute to the future of corn disease management, and to have your opinions heard.

If you receive the survey, or hear at the coffee shop of someone receiving the survey, please encourage them to take part. 

Alison Robertson is an assistant professor of plant pathology with research and extension responsibilities in field crop diseases. Robertson may be reached at (515) 294-6708 or by email at

ICM News