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Wet spring brings more possibilities of wheat disease

In Southwest Farm Press

A wet spring has created a favorable environment for wheat disease for much of Oklahoma and Texas production areas.

Bob Hunger, Oklahoma State University Extension wheat pathologist, offered a wheat disease update in a recent blog and touched base with small grains specialists in Texas. 

Here’s a brief look at what Extension specialists are seeing as the crop nears harvest.

Hunger says wheat around Stillwater is at milk to soft dough, with wheat in northern Oklahoma more in the full kernel to milk stage.  He recently checked wheat near Stillwater, Lahoma and Alva. “On susceptible varieties that were not sprayed, the effects of stripe rust were striking,” he says. “Although only a little active sporulation of the stripe rust fungus can be seen at Stillwater, quite active sporulation was apparent at Lahoma.  Stripe rust also was found at Alva, but at a much lower incidence.”

He adds that wheat streak mosaic (WSM) is more common this year across northern and northwestern Oklahoma.  “(Last) week I again visited an area where several fields of commercial wheat were significantly impacted by an adjacent field in which volunteer wheat and/or weeds were not controlled following the 2015 harvest. This situation can result in devastation of wheat in surrounding fields.”

He says the OSU Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Lab is receiving samples testing positive for the presence of the viruses that cause WSM, high plains disease, and barley yellow dwarf.  He recommends Fact Sheet EPP-7328 (Wheat Streak Mosaic, High Plains Disease, and Triticum Mosaic: Three Virus Diseases of Wheat in Oklahoma) for more information.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.

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