The plant pathologist conducted two trials this season and has begun culturing the disease in his laboratory in hopes of learning more about the organism.

"At this time, there is no chemical control, though seed can be treated," Zhou said. "Proper cultural practices, including early planting or use of early maturing varieties, can help by avoiding the hottest part of the growing season."

Zhou also said not planting excessive amounts of seeds per acre and reducing nitrogen rates have helped reduce damage from this disease.

Ultimately, he hopes additional preventive and treatment methods will be found through his lab experiments to help farmers in years when climatic conditions prompt the occurrence of bacterial panicle blight.