Posts Tagged ‘tan spot of wheat’

Agronomic Crop Disease Updates

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

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

Soybeans
The dry conditions combined with high soybean cyst nematode (SCN) egg counts could mean we will see more stunting from SCN this season. Be on the lookout for stunting in irregular areas. The SCN females can be seen on the roots of infected soybeans around 28-32 days after planting.

Barley
Barley harvest is fast approaching and the crop looks pretty good. Besides some leaf rust, net blotch, powdery mildew on ‘Thoroughbred’, and a little head scab, diseases have not been bad this season.

Wheat
A few diseases were observed during a recent check of the variety plots near Middletown in New Castle County. Low levels of tan spot and powdery mildew were seen in a few varieties, but all but one of the 45 entries had some head scab. Most of the infections were under 1% of the heads infected and many of those heads were only partially infected. Wheat in NCC was the most at risk according to the scab predictions. Some shriveled grain with the white coating of the Fusarium fungus was observed on some of the infected heads. Increasing fan speed on the combine will blow the light chaffy “tombstones” out the back and not contaminate the rest. Planting multiple wheat varieties with different flowering times (maturity) will decrease the risk of scab for next year. Statewide, overall scab levels are low compared to several years ago. I had mentioned in last week’s WCU that several varieties in the variety trial had genetic flecking or a resistance reaction including Merl, USG 3209, USG 3251, USG3665, Sunburst, and Grow Mark FS627. These symptoms are not an active disease.

Flecking on USG3409 that looks like a disease

Head scab on wheat

Healthy kernels and Fusarium head scab infected “tombstones”

Tan spot on wheat

 

Harvesting Grain from Scabby Fields
The following are tips to reduce the amount of scabby kernels in the harvested grain and to avoid potential health problems for combine operators and grain handlers. Scabby grain is contaminated with mycotoxins, especially vomitoxin, which is harmful to humans.

Harvest tips:
1. Avoid breathing in dust from scabby fields by using a high quality dust mask. Spores of the scab fungus (Fusarium graminearum) and small pieces of contaminated plant parts are present in the dust. Inhaling these particles may cause health problems.

2. Harvest the most severely scab damaged areas, such as low areas or double seeded headlands, separately. Don’t co-mingle the most damaged grain with sounder grain.

3. Turn up the air on the combine to blow out the lightest, scabby kernels back into the field.

4. If rain is forecast, it may be better to harvest scabby fields at slightly higher moisture content than to wait for grain to dry down. However, this grain still needs to be dried down and maintained below 15% moisture after harvest to prevent fungal growth in storage.

5. After harvest, gravity table grain separation can be used in removing more of the light-weight, scabby kernels.

6. Get grain from scabby fields tested for vomitoxin before feeding, before blending, or before making a decision to discard suspect grain.

From http://www.scabsmart.org/harvest%20practices.html

 

Small Grain Disease Update – May 27, 2011

Friday, May 27th, 2011

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

Barley
The most prevalent diseases that can still be seen in areas where the barley has not returned yet are the spot blotch form of net blotch and powdery mildew. After checking the barley varieties today near Sandtown in western Kent County I don’t believe that net blotch will be affecting yields, but powdery mildew on unsprayed ‘Thoroughbred’ will reduce yields if the flag leaf is infected. There is some scab infected barley in Kent County.

Wheat
The wheat in the Kent County variety trial has tan spot moving in rapidly on some varieties. Most of the varieties are in the watery ripe stage of development and will not likely be adversely affected. Leaf rust was easily seen on a public variety ‘Rumor’. Powdery mildew in general was low in most varieties but was in the upper canopy on SS8302, Milton, Bravo, and USG3770. There is a low level of scab in the trial as well. If scab is going to appear it should be evident now or very soon depending on location. Low levels of scab (less than 1% of the heads infected and most of the infected heads were only partially infected) were present in 8 out of 45 varieties (around 18%).There is some sort of physiological spotting that could look like a disease but is probably a resistance reaction by the variety in response to a fungal infection. This spotting was evident on the following varieties at this Sandtown location: Merl, Sunburst,USG3665, USG3409, USG3251, and Grow Mark FS627.

 

Wheat Disease Update – June 12, 2009

Friday, June 12th, 2009

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

Wheat is rapidly turning but scab is widespread in the state. We did not dodge the bullet unfortunately. Levels of scab really vary depending on the flowering time of the wheat and whether it corresponded with favorable weather for infection. We can expect lower yields and test weights were scab is heavy.

The first symptoms of Fusarium head blight include a tan or brown discoloration at the base of a floret within the spikelets of the head. As the infection progresses, the diseased spikelets become light tan or bleached in appearance. The infection may be limited to one spikelet, but if the fungus invades the rachis the entire head may develop symptoms of the disease. The base of the infected spikelets and portions of the rachis often develop a dark brown color. When weather conditions have been favorable for pathogen reproduction, the fungus may produce small orange clusters of spores or black reproductive structures called perithecia on the surface of the glumes. Infected kernels are often shriveled, white, and chalky in appearance. In some cases, the diseased kernels may develop a red or pink discoloration.

fusariumgrain 

Grain produced in heads damaged by Fusarium head blight is often shriveled, white, and chalky in appearance.

Fusarium graminearum is known to produce two important mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone, which can contaminate the diseased grain. The mycotoxin DON can cause reduced feed intake and lower weight gain in animals at levels as low as 1-3 ppm, especially in swine. Vomiting and feed refusal can occur when levels of DON exceed 10 ppm. Humans are also sensitive to DON, and the FDA has recommended that DON levels not exceed 1 ppm in human food. Ruminant animals, including dairy cows and beef cattle, are less sensitive to the toxin. The fungal toxin zearalenone has estrogenic properties and produces many reproductive disorders in animals. Swine are the most sensitive to the toxin, but cattle and sheep may also be affected. Zearalenone concentrations of 1-5 ppm can result in negative effects in animals and humans. Producers concerned about these mycotoxins should have grain tested prior to feeding to animals. Contact the state or local extension office for more information about testing for mycotoxins.

When high levels of Fusarium head blight are present in fields, precautions can be taken to reduce mycotoxin contaminations of the grain. The mycotoxin contamination is often highest in the severely diseased kernels. Adjusting the combine to blow out the small, shriveled kernels can help reduce mycotoxin levels. Harvested grain should be dried to 13.5 percent moisture as soon as possible to limit continued fungal growth. Grain suspected to have been damaged by Fusarium head blight should be tested for DON and zearalenone at a private agricultural lab or grain elevator. Do not mix contaminated grain with good grain prior to a mycotoxin analysis. The mixing will result in more contaminated grain, which may be difficult to sell.

Edited from Penn State fact sheet on Head Blight authored by Eric DeWolf. http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/PDF/Fusarium_Head_Blight_.pdf

Leaf rust is present in varying amounts. In my estimation it has arrived too late to impact yield, but it can be seen on unsprayed wheat that is still green. Tan spot turned out to be the most prevalent foliage disease this year.

Corn and Wheat Disease Update – June 5, 2009

Friday, June 5th, 2009

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

Corn
No need for me to tell you how bad the weather has been so far for corn. Stands are still being reduced by excessively wet soils and the Pythium and Fusarium damping-off that is occurring as a result of the wet soils. Fungicide treated seed, good drainage and some warm temperatures would help considerably in getting the plants out of the ground and growing.

Wheat
Fusarium head blight or scab is being seen in some fields in Kent and Sussex counties. The occurrence and severity so far has been variable but, in general, I think we dodged a bullet this time. Our wheat for the most part was already in flower before the most favorable weather came for scab (Figure 1).

fusarium head blight 

Figure 1. Fusarium head blight or scab.

Take-all was diagnosed this week as well from two fields. Take-all is characterized by patches in the field that can vary in size but the wheat is generally stunted and the heads bleach out prematurely. Infected plants can be easily pulled out of the ground due to the extensive root rot that occurs. The other symptom is the dark streaking at the base of the stem (lowest node under the leaf sheaths), see Figure 2. Take-all can be controlled by rotating out of wheat for a year. However planting wheat followed by double crop soybeans followed by wheat is not an effective rotation for take-all control. Manganese levels also interact with take-all. Be sure that soil levels of manganese are adequate for the crop and check pH so that the managanese is available. High pH makes manganese unavailable.

takeall

Figure 2. Take-all symptoms on the lower nodes. Note lack of roots as well.

Tan spot (Figure 3) has been present for almost three weeks in wheat. This foliar disease can look like Septoria (Stagnospora) leaf and glume blotch. It is caused by the fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis.

 tanspot

Figure 3. Tan spot symptoms on wheat.

It has been widespread on Delmarva this season because of the amount of rainfall that we have had. It is too late for any control, but this disease is favored by wet, warm weather. Most of the spots are in the lower canopy and may reach the flag leaf before the plants begin to dry down. Applications of foliar fungicides at heading or earlier have been providing good control of this disease. At present most of the infection is in the lower canopy and the effect on yield should be minimal if the disease does not move up to the flag leaf or the leaf below the flag leaf.

Wheat Diseases

Friday, June 6th, 2008

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

The wet weather and the warmer temperatures will accelerate the development of scab if it is present and the symptoms will become more evident as the temperatures get warmer this weekend. Some scab is present on Delmarva. The first symptoms of Fusarium head blight include a tan or brown discoloration at the base of a floret within the spikelets of the head. As the infection progresses, the diseased spikelets become light tan or bleached in appearance. The infection may be limited to one spikelet, but if the fungus invades the rachis the entire head may develop symptoms of the disease. The base of the infected spikelets and portions of the rachis often develop a dark brown color. When weather conditions have been favorable for pathogen reproduction, the fungus may produce small orange clusters of spores or black reproductive structures called perithecia on the surface of the glumes. Infected kernels are often shriveled, white, and chalky in appearance. In some cases, the diseased kernels may develop a red or pink discoloration.

 

Fusarium head blight or scab on wheat.

 

Fusarium head blight or scab on wheat head.

 

Grain produced in heads damaged by Fusarium head blight is often shriveled, white, and chalky in appearance.

Fusarium graminearum is known to produce two important mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone, which can contaminate the diseased grain. The mycotoxin DON can cause reduced feed intake and lower weight gain in animals at levels as low as 1-3 ppm, especially in swine. Vomiting and feed refusal can occur when levels of DON exceed 10 ppm. Humans are also sensitive to DON, and the FDA has recommended that DON levels not exceed 1 ppm in human food. Ruminant animals, including dairy cows and beef cattle, are less sensitive to the toxin. The fungal toxin zearalenone has estrogenic properties and produces many reproductive disorders in animals. Swine are the most sensitive to the toxin, but cattle and sheep may also be affected. Zearalenone concentrations of 1-5 ppm can result in negative effects in animals and humans. Producers concerned about these mycotoxins should have grain tested prior to feeding to animals. Contact the state department of agriculture or local extension office for more information about testing for mycotoxins.

When high levels of Fusarium head blight are present in fields, precautions can be taken to reduce mycotoxin contaminations of the grain. The mycotoxin contamination is often highest in the severely diseased kernels. Adjusting the combine to blow out the small, shriveled kernels can help reduce mycotoxin levels. Harvested grain should be dried to 13.5% moisture as soon as possible to limit continued fungal growth. Grain suspected to have been damaged by Fusarium head blight should be tested for DON and zearalenone. Do not mix contaminated grain with good grain prior to a mycotoxin analysis. The mixing will result in more contaminated grain, which may be difficult to sell. Edited from Penn State fact sheet on Head Blight authored by Eric DeWolf. http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/PDF/Fusarium_Head_Blight_.pdf

Other wheat diseases that we are seeing are take-all and, just recently, tan spot. Take-all is characterized by patches in the field that can vary in size but the wheat is generally stunted and the heads bleach out prematurely. Infected plants can be easily pulled out of the ground due to the extensive root rot that occurs. The other symptom is the dark streaking at the base of the stem (lowest node under the leaf sheaths). See picture. Take-all can be controlled by rotating out of wheat for a year. However planting wheat followed by double crop soybeans followed by wheat is not an effective rotation for take-all control. Manganese levels also interact with take-all. Be sure that soil levels of manganese are adequate for the crop and check pH so that the managanese is available. High pH makes manganese unavailable.

 

Take-all symptoms on the lower nodes. Note lack of roots as well.

Tan spot was identified in my wheat fungicide trials near Middletown. This foliar disease can look like Septoria (Stagnospora) leaf and glume blotch. It is caused by the fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis. It is too late for any control but this disease will be favored by the wet and warm weather. Most of the spots were in the lower canopy and may reach the flag leaf before the plants begin to dry down. Applications of foliar fungicides at heading or earlier should provide pretty good control of this disease. At present most of the infection is in the lower canopy and the effect on yield should be minimal if the disease does not move up to the flag leaf or the leaf below the flag leaf.

 

Tan spot symptoms on wheat.