Test for wheat blast now available

by By Jan Suszkiw, Agricultural Research Service

A team of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and university scientists has developed a sensitive new assay method for detecting the fungus that causes “wheat blast,” a disease of wheat in South America and, most recently, Bangladesh.

The fungus Magnaporthe oryzae triticum (MoT) was first detected in Brazil in 1985. The disease has moved into the neighboring countries of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, but wheat blast hasn’t been reported outside of South America—that is, until February 2016, when MoT was confirmed in wheat crops in Bangladesh. Continue reading

Insects, diseases are up this year, wheat acreage is down in Louisiana

In Delta Farm Press

by Rick Bogren, LSU AgCenter

Wheat acreage in Louisiana is at an all-time low of 58,000 to 60,000 acres, LSU AgCenter experts said at the April 20th wheat and oat field day at AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station.

Low prices, scab disease in 2015 and wet weather at planting are the reasons, said Boyd Padgett, AgCenter wheat specialist. In particular, scab disease “left a bad taste in growers’ mouths.” Continue reading

Wheat scab is “disaster waiting to happen” in North Carolina

In Southeast Farm Press

Christina Cowger urges North Carolina wheat producers to be prepared for fusarium head blight or scab this year by monitoring their risks and signing up for free scab alerts from the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative before April which is the next scab season for the state.

Speaking at the North Carolina Commodities Conference in Durham Jan. 15, Cowger, small gains pathologist at North Carolina State University, said the alerts are free and delivered by text or email. Signing up is easy at the website www.scabusa.org that allows farmers to actually look at their scab risk. The website includes daily in-season risk maps for each locale and provides scab prediction based on geography, grain type and forecast weather patterns. Continue reading

Farmer-saved wheat seed quality should be checked before planting

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Producers across the Rolling Plains and Central Texas who have not planted winter wheat or those who are seeing spotty stands in earlier-planted wheat might consider their seed quality, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.

Dr. Emi Kimura, AgriLife Extension agronomist in Vernon, and Dr. Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension small grains specialist in College Station, are advising producers as they move into planting season in those regions that farmer-saved wheat seed from the 2014-15 crop might have had some quality issues that could cause problems with the 2015-16 wheat crop.

The costs associated with using saved, low quality seed can be higher than purchasing certified seed, they warned. Continue reading

Missouri farmers troubled by diseased wheat

In Delta Farm Press

by Jason Vance, University of Missouri Extension

This year’s record-breaking rain and continued wet weather led to serious problems in Missouri wheat fields. Farmers have had a tough time harvesting the wheat crop, and now disease is making it hard or even impossible to sell, says Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri.

The Wheat Belt has been hit by vomitoxin, a common name for the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol. The Food and Drug Administration has restricted the concentration to 1 part per million for human food products. In higher concentrations, vomitoxin causes feed refusal and poor weight gain in some livestock. Much of the affected wheat has levels high enough that grain elevators won’t accept it.

Continue reading

Wheat diseases to look out for in the spring

From the UT Crops News Blog

Once we start to thaw out from winter, wheat as well as diseases will start to grow and develop. In some areas stripe rust has already shown up, which may indicate an increased disease risk in wheat this year.

Continue reading

Dryland foot rot found in South Carolina wheat

In Southeast Farm Press

Dryland foot rot, a wheat disease that resembles sulfur deficiency, appeared in at least one part of the Southeast this spring.

The wheat disease was confirmed in Darlington, Chesterfield and Marlboro counties in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, says Trish DeHond, Clemson Extension area agronomy agent stationed in Darlington.

Continue reading

Wheat’s wild ancestors may solve a modern problem

From ARS News

Except for wheat breeders, producers, and scientists, few people have probably ever heard of einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum), an ancient variety still cultivated in some parts of the Mediterranean. Emmer wheat (T. turgidum), found at some archeological sites and still growing wild in parts of the Near East, may be equally obscure. But these little-known grains and others like them could hold keys to saving one of the world’s most important cereal crops from an unrelenting fungus.

Continue reading

Wheat disease management for 2013

By Boyd Padgett, LSU AgCenter

Several wheat diseases can negatively impact yield if not properly managed. In LSU AgCenter tests, rust-infested plots yielded over 50 percent less than non-infested plots. This demonstrates the need to effectively manage these diseases to optimize profits.

Continue reading

UK researchers find important new disease

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture specialists are encouraging Kentucky wheat producers and crop consultants to scout their fields for a new disease that could have important implications for future crop years.

Continue reading