My colleague from York County, Jenny Rees provided a quick summary of bacterial leaf streak (BLS) which has been confirmed in corn in various parts of the state. Lesions can look similar to other diseases such as gray leaf spot (GLS). The major difference between BLS and GLS is that the lesion margins of bacterial leaf streak are wavy whereas they are blunt in gray leaf spot. It’s important to tell the difference between the two since fungicides will not control bacterial diseases. On CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu, there is an article showing a number of corn diseases and how to identify them. Be sure to check it out and when in doubt, you can always get a sample to your local Extension educator or the plant and pest diagnostic lab.
Tamra Jackson-Ziems also has a Youth BLS Survey and competition with cash prizes for FFA Chapters, 4-H Clubs, or other youth groups that submit the most POSITIVE samples from different fields. Groups submitting 3 or more positive samples also get a certificate identifying them as “Certified Crop Disease Detectives!” Youth packets can be be obtained from Tamra directly by emailing her at: firstname.lastname@example.org