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What's the best way to spread corn smut?  RSS feed

 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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I've read that it spreads through the wind, so to my mind the best way to go about this is taking some of the 'passed-it's-prime' specimines on a windy day and walking upwind from the corn patch. Is there a better way though? Maybe I need to rub the smut on the plants?
 
Franklin Stone
Posts: 152
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This is a very good question. I wonder how the Mexican farmers do it?

Maybe mix up a slurry of fully ripe, blackened smut with water and spray it on? (Except that it would probably clog the sprayer.) Perhaps dip a paintbrush in a container and brush it on?


brain-like by frankenstoen, on Flickr

I finally cooked up some smut a few weeks back and it was delicious!
 
Joe Skeletor
Posts: 113
Location: Blue Island, Illinois - Zone 6a - (Lake Effect) - surrounded by zone 5b
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I used to work at a fancy mexican restaurant, and they would buy in a ton of huitlacoche (corn smut) from a local farm. I talked to her about growing it, and remember something about using a syringe and inoculating each ear at a specific time of it's development. When the silks are at a specific stage it needs to be done. She would buy the spores in from somewhere and make a slurry of some sort.... Sorry no other details.!!

Joe
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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It sounds as though the natural way would involve letting the smut break the kernel open to release spores.

I understand that it gets into the kernel using the same pathway that pollen would, so it makes sense that inoculation would happen when the plant is open to pollination.

I have a hunch that the spores work while dry, and that you could save them as a dry powder, and apply them using a brush or a powder sprayer.
 
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