It has been reported that Southern corn rust is widespread in the Coastal Plain of Georgia at this time. This is very early in the year for an outbreak.

Spraying a fungicide to prevent Southern rust may be a little premature at this time, but consider the amount of acreage you may have to cover. You may be need to start early to be timely.

We have a good crop at this point that needs to be protected from Southern rust. So at the very least check your equipment and be prepared to make a fungicide application.

Consult the North Carolina Agrichemical Chemicals Manual for fungicides and rates.

More information is available at: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/pp/notes/Corn/corn002.html.

Domark 230 ME is not listed at this time, but is labeled at a rate of 4 to 6 ounces per acre.

When deciding to spray a fungicide, consider these factors in decision making:

Southern corn rust.

• When will the corn reach maturity — early maturing corn may escape infection and you might want to concentrate on the late maturing hybrids.

• Strobilurins provide excellent control of rust in general, but their residual is fairly short and they have limited systemic movement in plants. Triazoles such as Domark, Proline (Proline is a component in Stratego Yld) are more systemic thus more forgiving of less than perfect application.

• Application costs may actually be greater than fungicide costs in many instances, so consider using the higher fungicide rate which will provide more residual protection and try to get by with one application.