How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—Common smut

Spores overwinter in the soil. Under favorable conditions they form secondary spores that are carried by air currents or splashed by water to young, developing corn tissues. Development of common smut is favored by dry conditions and temperatures between 78° and 93° F. The incidence of smut is higher in soils high in nitrogen or after heavy applications of manure. Injury to the plant tissue of any kind increases the potential for smut infection.

Expanded corn kernels contain spores
Expanded corn kernels contain spores


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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