Corn disease, weather affect crop yields in Kansas

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) A corn disease that is new to the heartland is infecting Kansas crops.

The Hutchinson News ( ) reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of the bacterial leaf streak in a swath that goes from Pratt County to Edwards County in late August.

Justin Gatz, a Preston-area farmer and crop consultant, says the disease probably contributed to this year's decline in corn yield, but that weather was also a factor.

Kansas State University said that the department began a survey of cornfields across the region after the disease was discovered in samples submitted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014. It's unknown how it entered the U.S.

The disease has been found in about a dozen states, including Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma.

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