Posts Tagged ‘tar spot complex’

Ancient Maize Varieties Provide Modern Solution to Tar Spot Complex

Felix Corzo Jimenez , a farmer in Chiapas, Mexico, examines one of his maize plants infected with tar spot complex.

Felix Corzo Jimenez , a farmer in Chiapas, Mexico, examines one of his maize plants infected with tar spot complex.

By Jennifer Johnson, Terry Molnar and Martha Willcox

In southern Mexico and Central America a fungal maize disease known as tar spot complex (TSC) is decimating yields, threatening local food security and livelihoods. In El Portillo, Chiapas, Mexico, local farmer Felix Corzo Jimenez surveys his maize field sadly… “It’s been a terrible year. We’ll be lucky if we harvest even 50 percent of our usual yields.” He fingers a dried up maize leaf covered in tiny black dots, and pulls the husk off of an ear to show the shriveled kernels, poorly filled-in. “Tar spot is ruining our crops.”