Kentucky Wheat: Head Scab Minimal, Rust Widespread

Stripe Rust in Wheat. Photo: Louisiana State University

Wheat that flowered May 10 or earlier has mostly escaped Fusarium head blight (A.K.A head scab). Infections take about 21 days to be fully expressed following infection, so it is still a tad early to know the fate of later flowering wheat fields. I am optimistic, however, that this will not be a big head scab year.

On another front, I am seeing a considerable amount of stripe rust in fields that have not been treated with a fungicide. Neighboring states are seeing the same. Symptoms are very striking and are evident as long, thin lesions filled with masses of very bright yellow-orange spores (see photo).

Modern fungicides like Caramba, Headline, Prosaro and the like are highly effective against all rust diseases. As a result, I would not anticipate seeing significant damage from stripe rust in fields treated for head scab (at early flowering, for example). In any event, you might want to go out to your fields at this time and take a peek.


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