Disease Facts

Eyespot, caused by the fungus Kabatiella zeae, is common and can be found across New York State.

Eyespot is favored by cool, wet weather. Spores are spread long distance by wind and locally by rain splashing from crop debris in soil onto host plants.

Management Strategies

This disease is rarely a target for foliar fungicides.

Management strategies include the use of resistant hybrids.

Disease management can also be aided by minimizing crop residue through clean plowing and implementing crop rotations in fields where disease has occurred.


Eyespot presents as many circular to oval spots on the leaf which may coalesce to form large areas of dead tissue.

Initially spots appear water-soaked eventually forming tan to cream colored centers surrounded by brownish purple margins with a narrow yellow halo.

The haloed spots give the appearance of an “eyespot.”

Corn stalk with diseased leaves

A corn stalk showing leaves with eyespot

close up of leaf with eyespot

A close up of a corn leaf with eyespot

Related Links

  • Handy Bt Trait Table updated for 2023 for U.S. Corn Production from the University of Michigan
  • Eyespot Fact Sheet (PDF)