Posts Tagged ‘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.

 

Small Grain Disease Update – May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20th, 2011

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

Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) in Wheat Update: Although the recent weather pattern early this week has been favorable for head scab in wheat, most of the wheat in Sussex and Kent County has completed flowering by now and not likely to become infected with scab. If you have wheat that is flowering now consider a fungicide application of Caramba or Prosaro. Wheat that is about 5 days or more past initial flowering cannot be treated. The labels state the last stage of application is mid-flower and there is a 30-day to harvest restriction.

Scab identified on barley. We just received a sample of ‘Nomini’ barley from Kent County and have confirmed a scab (Fusarium head blight) infection on the top 6-7 kernels. The sample was only two heads and several plants but growers will want to keep an eye out for bleached heads on barley from here on out. Nothing can be done now but increasing fan speed on the combine at harvest which can help blow the lighter chaffy infected grains out of the combine. Hopefully this turns out to be an isolated find.

 

Agronomic Crop Disease Update – May 13, 2011

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

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

Barley
Powdery mildew on ‘Thoroughbred’ is the most common disease at the present time. Fields with the top two leaves with mildew will have some yield reduction. After looking at the variety trials in Sussex County on Tuesday I could also find small amounts of leaf rust, barley scald and the spot form of net blotch. None of these should impact yield.

Wheat
Wheat is looking very good at the present time. There is very little disease present. A few unsprayed varieties have some powdery mildew that is confined to the lower leaves and leaf sheaths. A small amount of leaf rust was also spotted on one unsprayed variety on the lower leaves. Most of the wheat that I saw has flowered and with the dry weather in most of the southern parts of the state, it looks like head scab should not be a problem. In the northern areas of the state if we get showers this weekend we may have some opportunity for infection if wheat is flowering.

Barley scald

Soybeans and Soybean Cyst Nematode
It is still not too late to check for soybean cyst nematode especially if susceptible soybeans are going to be planted. Soil test bags with the submission form can be purchased at the Extension offices. If you need results quickly, test results can be sent via FAX or email if you provide the number or email address on the Nematode Assay Information Sheet. This information sheet can be found on the web at the Plant Clinic Website http://ag.udel.edu/extension/pdc/index.htm .

 

Small Grain Disease Update – May 6, 2011

Friday, May 6th, 2011

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

Wheat
Be sure to keep scouting for the presence of diseases, especially powdery mildew, at this time. With the return of cooler temperatures and risk of showers and cloudy weather as well, powdery mildew could become a problem, especially in very thick stands of susceptible wheat. It is important to keep the uppermost two leaves as free of diseases as possible to protect yields. At the most, you can wait until you see 5-10% of the upper two leaves infected before applying a fungicide. Tilt, Stratego, Twinline, and Quilt can be applied as late as heads emerged but not yet flowering. If scab should be a concern this year it may be best to use only a triazole fungicide at heading through flowering to avoid mycotoxin issues if scab infection occurs. There is evidence that if fungicides containing strobilurins (Quilt, Twinline, Stratego) or strobilurins alone are applied during heading up to flowering, they can increase mycotoxin production if scab occurs during flowering. If a fungicide is needed as late as flowering for powdery mildew, Septoria leaf blotch, tan spot, or other disease and conditions are favorable for scab development consider applying Prosaro, Caramba, or Folicur for scab suppression and control of the other diseases just mentioned. For a table that rates the efficacy of fungicides for use on wheat diseases see the following link to the Kansas State fact sheet with the NCERA-184 ratings. This is a group of wheat pathologists from across the country that collaborates on wheat disease control. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/plant2/ep130.pdf

Head Scab Risk Assessment Tool
Scab is still the one wheat disease that can cause major economic losses if weather conditions are favorable prior to and during flowering. The tools that we have to manage scab are limited but the use of rotation, resistant varieties and fungicides can help reduce the losses from scab should it appear. One of the tools that we have to help predict its occurrence and aid in making fungicide application decisions is the Head Scab Risk Assessment Tool that is found on the wheat scab website http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/. The site provides information on how to use the tool and its limits.

 

Small Grain Disease Update – April 29, 2011

Friday, April 29th, 2011

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

Wheat is developing rapidly with the recent increase in temperature. Be sure to keep scouting for the presence of diseases, especially powdery mildew, at this time. It is important to keep the uppermost two leaves as free of diseases as possible to protect yields. At the most, you can wait until you see 5- 10% of the upper two leaves infected before applying a fungicide. Tilt, Stratego, Twinline, and Quilt can be applied as late as heads emerged but not yet flowering.

If scab should be a concern this year it may be best to use only a triazole fungicide at heading through flowering to avoid mycotoxin issues if scab infection occurs. There is evidence that if fungicides containing strobilurins (Quilt, Twinline, Stratego) or strobilurins alone are applied during heading up to flowering, they can increase mycotoxin production if scab occurs during flowering. If a fungicide is needed as late as flowering for powdery mildew, Septoria leaf blotch, tan spot, or other disease and conditions are favorable for scab development consider applying Prosaro, Caramba, or Folicur for scab suppression and control of the other diseases just mentioned. For a table that rates the efficacy of fungicides for use on wheat diseases see the following link to the Kansas State fact sheet with the NCERA-184 ratings. This is a group of wheat pathologists from across the country that collaborates on wheat disease control. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/plant2/ep130.pdf

Head Scab Risk Assessment Tool
Scab is still the one wheat disease that can cause major economic losses if weather conditions are favorable prior to and during flowering. The tools that we have to manage scab are limited, but the use of rotation, resistant varieties and fungicides can help reduce the losses from scab should it appear. One of the tools that we have to help predict its occurrence and aid in making fungicide application decisions is the Head Scab Risk Assessment Tool that is found on the wheat scab website http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/. The site provides information on how to use the tool and its limits.

 

Small Grain Weed Control

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist; mjv@udel.edu

I have looked at a few fields of winter wheat or barley where growers were concerned about lack of weed control. Turns out these fields had jagged chickweed or speedwell in them, which spring applications of Harmony Extra do not control. Based on our observations either Osprey or Harmony Extra applied in the fall did do a good job of controlling jagged chickweed. Speedwells are not controlled with Harmony Extra. We have trials this spring and will have more to share with you by fall, but most of the products that can be sprayed this late in the season do not control speedwell.

For wild garlic control, Harmony Extra is the product of choice and the label allows two applications per season. But, be sure to read the label for the total amount that can be used per season.

Common chickweed

Common chickweed

Jagged chickweed

 

Small Grain Disease Update

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

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

Barley
We are getting more reports of powdery mildew in ‘Thoroughbred’ barley. This variety is very susceptible and growers have been spraying fungicides to control the disease and protect their yields. Tilt or other labeled triazole fungicides work well along with strobilurin combination products like Quilt, Stratego, etc. Folicur, which is a triazole or sterol-inhibiting fungicide, does not have powdery mildew control on the label for barley or wheat. Folicur (tebuconazole) is now available as a generic as Monsoon, Orius, Embrace, Tebustar and others. When small grains are followed by soybeans there are no plant back restrictions but if you are planting processing or fresh market vegetables be sure to check the label for what can be planted if a fungicide is used in barley or wheat.

Wheat
Disease activity has been light so far. Another sample of wheat spindle streak mosaic virus was received this week. See the article titled Viruses in Winter Wheat in WCU 19:2 for more information. The one control option for wheat spindle streak is planting resistant varieties. Seed company literature and web sites can provide that information. The University of Maryland has some ratings for disease resistance from their variety trial plots. Dr. Arv Graubaskas revised the MD list last December and it is online at: http://agdev.anr.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/MDWheatDiseaseRatings2010.pdf.

 

Viruses in Winter Wheat

Friday, April 1st, 2011

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

The first winter wheat sample with virus symptoms arrived last week. It was sent for confirmation and was determined to be wheat soilborne mosaic virus. Wheat on the Delmarva can be infected by four possible virus diseases. The aphid-transmitted barley yellow dwarf mosaic virus is probably the most common, depending on how high aphid populations are in the fall and early spring. Often irregular patches of stunted wheat occur in wheat fields and as the season warms up infected young leaves will become yellow, and then turn red. Wheat spindle streak mosaic causes a yellow discoloration to wheat seedlings. This yellow discoloration is often most intense in low areas of the field. Leaves of infected plants have long, yellow streaks that are slightly wider in the middle than at their ends. Symptoms are similar to wheat soilborne mosaic and plants often are infected with both diseases. Winter wheat infected by wheat soilborne mosaic develops a pale-yellow discoloration shortly after breaking dormancy in the spring. The incidence of wheat soilborne mosaic is often greater in low areas of the field where moist soil conditions favor growth of the protozoa that spread this viral disease. Leaves of infected plants often have a mosaic pattern of dark green blotches on a pale greenish-yellow background. Symptoms will normally fade when warm temperatures slow the activity of the virus within infected plants. Control of both these soilborne diseases is by planting resistant varieties.

The least common virus disease of wheat that we see is wheat streak mosaic. Leaves of plants infected with wheat streak mosaic have bright yellow streaking. Symptoms are often most severe near the tip of the leaf. The virus that causes wheat streak mosaic survives in volunteer wheat and spreads by wheat curl mites. The disease is often most severe in areas of a field that are closest to these sources of the disease and mites.

Barley yellow dwarf mosaic virus

Wheat spindle streak mosaic virus

Wheat soilborne mosaic virus

Wheat streak mosaic virus
(Last three photos from Wheat Disease Identification published by NCERA-184, which will be available soon.)

It can be very difficult to positively identify these virus diseases especially early in the spring. They can look like other diseases or nutritional disorders. Testing of infected plants can help diagnose the problem to avoid repeating it in the future or eliminate other possible causes of the symptoms. Unfortunately by the time you see symptoms of these virus diseases there is no control of any of these diseases.

Agronomic Crop Insects – April 1, 2011

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist; jwhalen@udel.edu

Alfalfa
Alfalfa Weevil:
We are starting to see the first hatch of alfalfa weevil eggs. As soon as the weather begins to warm up, you should begin to sample for larvae on a weekly basis. Look for small larvae feeding in the tips of plants producing a round, pinhole type of feeding. Once you detect tip feeding, a full field sample should be taken. The most accurate way to time an application is to sample stems and determine the number of weevils per stem. A minimum of 30 stems should be collected per field and placed top first in a bucket to dislodge larvae from the tips. Then count the number of weevils per stem. The following thresholds, based on the height of the alfalfa, should be used as a guideline when making a treatment decision: up to 11 inches tall – 0.7 per stem; 12 inches tall – 1.0 per stem; 13 – 15 inches tall – 1.5 per stem; 16 inches tall – 2.0 per stem; and 17 – 18 inches tall – 2.5 per stem. Numerous pyrethroids are now labeled for alfalfa weevil including Baythroid XL, Mustang MAX, Proaxis, Warrior II and numerous generic pyrethroids. Imidan, Lorsban, Lannate and Steward are also labeled for alfalfa weevil control. Be sure to check all labels for rates, restrictions and days to harvest before application. The following is a link to our recently updated fact sheet including pictures of life stages and damage.  http://ag.udel.edu/extension/IPM/ExtensionFactSheets/AlphalfaWeevilIPM-1.pdf.

Timothy
Cereal Rust Mites:
Since spring green-up is underway, be sure to sample fields for cereal rust mite activity. Mites can be found in fields at this time. These mites are very small, so the use of a 20x-magnifying lens may be helpful. If rust mites become a problem, Sevin XLR Plus is still the only labeled, effective material: http://www.cdms.net/LDat/ld332013.pdf . Be sure to read the label for information on the number of applications per season as well as the days to harvest. For effective rust mite control, the use of the higher labeled rate and at least 25 gal/A of carrier to get good coverage of leaf surfaces generally results in better control. The following is a link to new fact sheet including pictures of mites and damage: http://ag.udel.edu/extension/IPM/ExtensionFactSheets/CerealRustMiteIPM-9.pdf.

Wheat
Cereal Leaf Beetle:
It is time to begin sampling fields for cereal leaf beetle activity. We are starting to find evidence of adult feeding, so fields should now be scouted for egg masses. The threshold for cereal leaf beetle includes sampling for eggs, especially in high management wheat fields or in fields with historical problems. The eggs are elliptical, about 1/32 inch long, yellow in color when first laid, changing to a burnt orange prior to hatching. The following is a link to our recently updated fact sheet including pictures of life stages and damage: http://ag.udel.edu/extension/IPM/ExtensionFactSheets/CerealLeafBeetleFactSheetIPM-5.pdf.

Generally, eggs are laid singly or in small scattered groups (end-to-end) on the upper leaf surface and parallel to the leaf veins. Cereal leaf beetle larvae are brown to black, range in size from 1/32 to ¼ inch long, and eat streaks of tissue from the upper leaf surface. Since cereal leaf beetle populations are often unevenly distributed within the field, it is important to carefully sample fields so that you do not over or under estimate a potential problem. Eggs and small larvae should be sampled by examining 10 tillers from 10 evenly spaced locations in the field while avoiding field edges. This will result in 100 tillers (stems) per field being examined. Eggs and larvae may be found on leaves near the ground so careful examination is critical. You should also check stems at random while walking through a major portion of the field and sampling 100 stems. The treatment threshold is 25 or more eggs and/or small larvae per 100 tillers. If you are using this threshold, it is important that you wait until at least 50% are in the larval stage (i.e. after 50% egg hatch).

Winter Grain Mites: With the recent cooler weather, consultants are starting to report an increase in winter grain mite populations, especially in no-till wheat planted into corn stubble. Temperature and moisture are the most important factors influencing mite development and abundance. Cool, rather than warm, temperatures favor their development. Egg laying is heaviest between 50° and 60°F and the optimum conditions for hatching are between 44° and 55°F. Mite activity in the spring drops rapidly and the eggs fail to hatch when the daily temperature exceeds 75°F. The larvae as well as the adults feed higher up on the plants at night or on cloudy days. Heavily infested fields appear grayish or silvery, a result of the removal of plant chlorophyll by mite feeding. When high infestations feed on the plants for several days, the tips of the leaves exhibit a scorched appearance and then turn brown, and the entire plant may die. These mites do not cause the yellowing characteristic of spider mite feeding. Many of the infested plants do not die, but become stunted and produce little forage or grain; damage on young plants, however, is more severe than on large, healthy ones. Damage may also be greater in plants stressed by nutrient deficiencies or drought conditions. There are two types of damage to the small grain: (a) reduced amount of forage throughout the winter and (b) reduced yields of grain in the spring and summer. The following is a link to our recently updated fact sheet including pictures of mites: http://ag.udel.edu/extension/IPM/ExtensionFactSheets/WinterGrainMitesIPM-8.pdf.

The most effective scouting method is to use a 10x hand lens, checking both plant foliage and crop residue on the soil surface for the presence of immature and adult mites. A sweep net may also be effective in determining if mites are present. The best time to scout is early in the morning and at dusk on calm days because the mites will seek refuge during the day in the top 4 or 5 inches of the soil profile to avoid the sunlight. On cool, overcast days, they may be observed actively feeding on plant foliage throughout the day.

No economic thresholds have been developed for WGM in small grain fields. However, as a general rule of thumb, if plants exhibit symptoms of damage, weather conditions are favorable and several mites per plant are found, a chemical control may be necessary to prevent or reduce yield loss. If populations are small and the plants show no feeding injury or if populations and damage symptoms are isolated, the field should be scouted more frequently to insure yield losses are kept at a minimum.