Symptoms of Eyespot

  • Affected leaves are covered with numerous small round spots.
  • Spots are about 1/8 inch in diameter, oval to circular and initially appear water soaked.
  • The central area of the spot soon dies, leaving a tan center surrounded by a distinct brown to purple border. The border is frequently encircled by a yellow halo.


  • Eyespot appears to be most severe in fields where residues from the previous corn crop are left on the soil surface and in fields of continuous corn for 2 or more years.
  • Eyespot is favored by long periods of cool, wet weather during the growing season and is more of a problem in the northern regions of the Corn Belt.

Life Cycle of Eyespot

  • The fungus overwinters and survives between corn crops on residue left on the soil surface.
  • In the spring, the fungus produces spores that are carried to the new corn crop.
  • The fungus may also be seed-borne, but this source of fungal inoculum is insignificant when compared to the number of spores produced on infested crop residues.

Management of Eyespot

  • Plant corn hybrids that have some resistance to eyespot.
  • Crop rotation and clean plow down of corn residues will help reduce the amount of surviving fungus and limit early season disease spread.

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