WASHINGTON, July 26, 2017 - The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit established in the 2014 farm bill, has awarded $148,499 to Colorado State University scientists who will focus on bacterial leaf streak, a disease that causes yield losses for corn growers in the western Corn Belt. 

CSU is leading the research but will collaborate with University of Nebraska and University of Illinois. The three schools are matching FFAR’s grant, bringing the total investment to $296,000.

“This research is important for the corn industry, but it will also help other industries be prepared as this disease spreads in the U.S.,” said FFAR Executive Director Sally Rockey said in a news release. “By responding rapidly to this emerging issue, (FFAR) hopes to create solutions that will help farmers and reassure their many customers in the United States and around the world.” There are limited treatment and prevention methods for bacterial leaf streak, which was first identified on U.S. corn in 2016. South Africa is the only other country to report the disease, which is distinguished by a narrow, wavy-edged tan, brown, or orange lesion on the corn leaf. First discovered in Nebraska, bacterial leaf streak has spread to corn fields across Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, and South Dakota.