Agronomic Crop Diseases

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu

Wheat
Wheat development is later than normal due to the adverse wet weather conditions beginning back in the fall. It is not too early to remind growers, consultants and fieldmen about several resources that are available for monitoring Fusarium head blight (scab). Two websites are available, the first is the scab predictor site http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/ with the risk map tool and the second is a new site called Scab Smart.

Scab Smart Web Site Can Help With Head Scab Management
The U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (UWBSI) has a Web site that provides farmers with information on how to manage Fusarium head blight, commonly known as scab.

Scab Smart is designed to serve as a quick guide to the integrated strategies that result in optimum reduction of scab and its primary associated mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON).

On the site, producers can access information by management strategy or wheat class. Scab Smart’s content will be updated on an ongoing basis as new management information becomes available.

The site can be accessed through this website http://www.scabsmart.org

Stripe Rust and Leaf Rust
On another topic, stripe rust and to a lesser extent leaf rust, are increasing in the South. There have been reports of greater than normal infection levels of stripe rust in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. It is never easy to predict if it will make it to Delmarva. Stripe rust has not been a problem in Delaware since 2006 and 2007. When it has occurred it has had variable effects on wheat depending how mature the crop is when the disease appears. Most of the damage in the past has occurred in the northern parts of the state. When scouting wheat later in the season keep this disease in mind. Alerts will be given if it gets closer to us. Generally applications with a triazole containing fungicide made at flag leaf emergence through heading will provide good control.


Stripe rust on wheat.

Corn
There have been growers with increasing southern root knot nematode populations in field and sweet corn, especially when pickling cucumbers, soybeans, and lima beans have been in a rotation. The best way to reduce root knot nematodes in corn is with an at-planting application of Counter 15G. The data I have seen for seed treatments that might be effective for root knot have not been consistent at this time. They are definitely worth looking at but how effective they will be is still a question in my mind.

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