Posts Tagged ‘stripe rust of wheat’

Small Grain Disease Updates – May 11, 2012

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Stripe rust in wheat has been seen in both DE and MD this week. The outbreaks at this time are small and for most of the state wheat is past flowering, so the impact of increased rust development at this time should be minimal. Anyone who applied a fungicide such as Tilt, Prosaro, or Caramba at boot stage or heading will have 2-3 weeks of control, depending when it was applied and when stripe rust spores arrived from the south of us. We have not seen stripe rust in our region for several years. There have been population changes in the rust and it may be more aggressive than what we have seen in the past. We would be interested to know if you see it and what varieties get infected and the severity of the infection. Initially it might be found in a small area or several small areas but if the continued rain and cooler temperatures prevail it could spread quickly. If the wheat is past flowering, check fungicide labels for timing. See the next article for more information on stripe rust and effect on yield as well as fungicide choices.

 Close-up of stripe rust symptoms showing rust pustules in a line or stripe.

 Stripe rust on wheat.

Several more wheat samples were confirmed with Barley yellow dwarf virus. Most of the symptoms are mild but very widespread when it is found in a field. There is little impact on yield as best we know, but there is still much to learn about this virus in this region.

 Barley yellow dwarf showing reddening of flag leaf.

Wheat Disease Update
The following was written by Arv Grybauskas, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Maryland and adapted for Delaware by Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Delaware

The risk of scab development this season has been very low and most of our wheat will be scab‐free or, at worst, have infection levels well below 10%. Vomitoxin levels should therefore be well below the 2 ppm threshold for acceptance at mills for most of the crop. The last few days, however, indicate that there are a couple of regions in the state that might still develop some scab. Much of the wheat in the hot spots in eastern Sussex County should be past flowering, and therefore past the label growth stage limitation for treatment with fungicides. However, there may be late planted fields or later developing varieties that can be treated. Leaf rust has been present on susceptible varieties since early spring but has been kept in check by unfavorable temperature or moisture conditions. It still has the potential to develop and spread if temperatures warm into the 80s at daytime and drop only to the mid‐60s at night as long as showers continue or dew and RH is high. Treatment of susceptible varieties may be warranted if leaf rust is present and is threatening to reach the flag leaves.

Stripe rust has also made an appearance this season. It was just confirmed in Dorchester and Caroline Counties in Maryland as well as in Delaware on Monday, May 7. These outbreaks are in small pockets (foci) in fields and their appearance is consistent with long‐distance spore transport from either NC or KY on storm fronts that came through about 2 weeks ago. Stripe rust, unlike leaf rust, requires cooler temperatures. In fact, at temperatures above 77°F lesions will stop producing spores and secondary spread is reduced, and at temperatures above 85°F the pathogen dies. The question now is, what is the potential damage and do I need to apply a fungicide? The short answer is, in my opinion, the worst‐case scenario for either rust disease (susceptible variety, and continuous disease favorable conditions through grain‐fill, and a focus of rust is present in the field now) would potentially produce a 10% yield loss. Realistically the weather will probably be less favorable sometime during grain fill so losses are more likely in the 1‐7% range (Table 1). For either rust disease it takes 7‐14 days to go through an infection cycle (infections giving rise to more spores that cause new infections) under ideal conditions. With that in mind, by the end of the grain‐fill period it is possible that the plants will look nasty (100% of the plants with 40 to 65% flag leaf severity) but between hard and soft dough stages this typically only produces 1 to 7% yield losses.

Table 1. Approximate Yield Loss in Relation to Severity of Rust on the Flag Leaf at Various Stages of Growth

Growth Stage Flag Leaf Area Infected with Rust
10% 25% 40% 65% 100%
Flowering 10 15 20 30 35
Milk 2 5 8 14 20
Soft dough 1 3 4 7 10
Hard dough 1 1 1 3 5

From: Hunger, B. and K. Jackson. Foliar Fungicides and Wheat Production in Oklahoma.

At this stage the only products that can be considered are triazole fungicides. The products registered for scab management, Prosaro and Caramba, are also effective against leaf and stripe rust. Rust susceptible wheat varieties that are still eligible for a fungicide application (pre‐ or just at flower) that are not at risk of developing scab may be sprayed with Folicur or a properly labeled generic tebuconazole product for rust control. Note that Prosaro, Caramba and Folicur have a 30 day Pre‐Harvest Interval as well as the growth stage restriction. Tilt has a 45 day PHI, and therefore would only be an option on earlier stage wheat where the risk of scab was low.

Wheat Disease Update – April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

We have had several more reports and a sample of Barley yellow dwarf mosaic virus in wheat. Irregular patches of varying height reductions, yellowing and purple flag leaves indicate BYDMV infection. Since this virus is aphid transmitted there are no controls at this time.

Fusarium Head Blight
With the much needed rain that came and the forecast for more Thursday and possibly Saturday as well some have been asking about the possibility of head blight or scab appearing. The forecast at the present time is the probability is low. The corn residue on the surface needs to be wet for a long time before spores are produced that can infect the wheat at flowering and the temperatures need to be in the mid-70s for significant infection to occur. The temperatures have been and are too low now for infection. As long as the wheat flowers between now and next Wednesday when the forecast is for warmer temperatures the wheat will no longer be in a susceptible stage of development for scab to infect. I think the risk of scab it very low and specific sprays for scab control are unwarranted at this time.

Keep up to date with scab by visiting the website and using the 2012 Predictor. This will be important if we should get more rain later in the week.  Make sure the predictor says 2012 across the banner. For some reason my browser is going back to the 2011 site. If you run into the same problem here is the 2012 link

Leaf Rust & Stripe Rust
More of a possibility is the occurrence of some late season leaf rust and stripe rust. There has been stripe rust reported in NC earlier in the week and now a report of leaf rust and stripe rust from Mt. Holly, VA in university test plots. These reports are fairly close and after a big rain event like we had with some more possibly on the way we may see some develop within the next two weeks. If growers have a variety that is susceptible to leaf rust or stripe rust, there is a chance that we could see more rust two weeks from now depending on the temperatures. Again that might justify application of a fungicide at flowering if you have rust present now or are growing a susceptible variety. With the lack of water there may be undetected leaf rust in the lower canopy and with the recent rain there could be spread to the upper canopy. Be sure to get out and check the wheat before making a spray decision. Prosaro plus a non-ionic surfactant can be applied to wheat until 30 days before harvest; for scab control it needs to be applied at early flowering in 5 gal/A if applied by air. Tilt can only be applied until full head emergence. With the low risk of scab, strobilurin fungicides such as Headline and Quadris could also be considered for protection against leaf and stripe rust as well as tan spot, and the Septoria complex if those diseases are present, which have not been seen because of the dry weather. Be sure to check labels for application restrictions. Our past experience has shown that diseases that appear late (after flowering) usually do not have time to infect the upper leaves that are important for grain fill and reduce yield. If diseases are present in the canopy at flowering there is more of a risk of diseases reducing yield and/or quality of the grain.

Some information from Dr. Christina Cowger from USDA at NC State Unversity indicates that the following varieties are susceptible to stripe rust and might warrant spraying especially if any rust is present now. There are some gaps in our knowledge about susceptibility to stripe rust, so this is a very limited list of known susceptibility for varieties that are grown in the Mid-Atlantic:

Coker 9436, DG Shirley, NC Cape Fear, NC Neuse, NC Yadkin, P26R12, SS520, SS560, USG3209, USG3592, USG3665, SS8404

Freeze Injury
We just received a wheat sample from Kent County, DE with random bleached awns as well as tips of some heads. If you see some irregular bleaching of heads don’t panic about scab. We suspect at this point since no fungus appears to be present on this sample that the damage is from freezing. From spike emergence through flowering, freezing can cause symptoms that range from minimal bleaching of the awns to severe grain yield loss, depending on the duration and degree of freezing.(See Photo 3 in the article by Richard Taylor, “Another Risk of Frost on the Small Grain Crop”, which is in this issue of WCU) If normal kernel development does not occur, then freeze injury can be suspected.

Small Grain Diseases

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Powdery Mildew on Small Grain
Be on the lookout for powdery mildew on ‘Thoroughbred’ barley and wheat. Powdery mildew has been seen on both within the last several weeks. ‘Thoroughbred’ barley is very susceptible to PM as you know and if the stand is thick and lush you will more than likely see it. Does it need to be controlled this early in the season? I think it depends on how many times you are willing to spray it. Dr. Arv Grybauskas did a trial last season looking at fungicide applications at jointing (GS6), flag leaf emergence (GS9) and flowering (GS10.5) Tilt (4.0 oz/A) was applied at GS 6 or 9 and Prosaro (6.5 fl. oz/A) was applied at GS 10.5. While all treatments gave a positive yield response in two trials, only the later applications gave a significant yield increase. It confirms what we have been saying about the importance of keeping the top two leaves free of disease and the positive relation to grain fill. This is true in wheat and susceptible barley like ‘Thoroughbred’. If you spray to control mildew at jointing you may have to come back again later because the control will not last season-long. Disease control later is more important for protecting the yield potential of the crop.

For powdery mildew on wheat, check areas of rank growth first to see if the disease is present in the field then revisit to see if it spreads. It is too early to consider control of powdery mildew (PM), but if it is present, keep scouting. Unless the variety is very susceptible the mildew does not move fast depending on the weather.

Rank areas, like the one pictured here that was infected with powdery mildew, should be checked often.

Close-up of powdery mildew as it looks now

Rust on Small Grain
Everyone has been wondering about the possible consequences of the warm winter and one consequence might affect wheat. Both leaf rust and stripe rust have been found in the South this winter. It has been mild and relatively moist depending on the location. This scenario is conducive for rust infections that get started in the southern production regions and blow north as the season progresses. With the early appearance down south, the mid-Atlantic area may see rusts early enough to be a threat. Keep your eyes open as the season progresses.

Small Grain Disease Prevention

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Be sure that you plant wheat and barley varieties with high levels of disease resistance. Select varieties with high levels of resistance to powdery mildew, leaf rust and stripe rust. Seed should be treated with Baytan, Raxil, Dividend or other labeled product to protect plants from loose smut and common bunt. Varieties that are susceptible to powdery mildew should be treated with Baytan, Dividend, or other seed treatment fungicide that will protect them from early infection.

Small Grain Disease Update

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

After checking the state small grain variety trial at the REC near Georgetown I can report that there were several cultivars that had low levels of stripe rust and several with low levels of leaf rust. The recent wet weather may cause some localized outbreaks of stripe rust but it should be too late to cause much yield loss. All these infected areas were past flowering, mostly milk to soft dough stage, so it is too late for fungicide applications. There were low levels of speckled leaf blotch caused by Septoria tritici and low levels of tan spot as well as Stagnospora leaf and glume blotch. No head infections were seen last Friday. These too may increase with the wet weather early in the week.

Agronomic Crop Diseases

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

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 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

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.

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.

Wheat Disease Scouting

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Be on the lookout for several wheat diseases now. Powdery mildew is appearing in very dense stands and in headrows and on susceptible cultivars. The small white-to-tan spots of fungal growth are getting easy to spot when present. Most of what I have seen has been in the lower canopy and does not require treatment. Keep scouting. The second disease worth looking for is stripe rust (Figure 1). I am seeing some reports of it in the South and there might be low levels in our area that go undetected until some yellowing of the leaves appears. Stripe rust is getting more aggressive so it is important to identify it early and apply a triazole fungicide, such as Tilt or Caramba; a strobilurin, such as Quadris or Headline; or a combination product like Quit or Stratego. If these products are applied from flag leaf fully expanded until head emergence very good to excellent control should be achieved. None of these products labeled for powdery mildew or rust control, except Caramba, will aid in scab control.

Stripe Rust of Wheat

Figure 1. Stripe rust pustules on the underside of the leaf

Scab or Fusarium head blight suppression is achieved with well-timed applications of Prosaro (Proline + Folicur) 6.5 fl oz/A , Caramba 14 fl oz/A, or Proline (alone) 5.7 fl oz/A. None of the other fungicides labeled for wheat will give the same level of suppression as the above three, according to work done by Arv Grybauskas at the University of Maryland. No fungicide provides the level of control that most growers would like to see, but they are the best that we have and can provide suppression of the disease, especially if conditions are favorable. Suppression of scab depends on very precise timing of the application. For the fungicides to work to the best of their ability they need to be applied when the anthers first appear (Figure 2). The fungus infects through the flower parts of the wheat so it is the newly flowering wheat heads that need to be protected. Once pollination takes place the fungus is only susceptible to the fungicides for a very short time.

Wheat is at risk when temperatures are warm and wet during flowering, the risk increases when the wheat crop is planted in no-till corn stubble and there is no rotation. The new risk management tool is located at the Fusarium head blight website It can be useful once heading begins and the risk of scab increases as flowering approaches. The new version that is running now has the ability to give a 24-72 hour forecast looking at the previous several days as well as the weather forecast for the next several days. Those buttons are at the top left side of the forecast page.


Figure 2. Correct timing for fungicide application for scab suppression