Farm Progress

Stripe rust infections in lawn grasses could serve as a reservoir for pathogen survival over the winter.

Robert Harveson

January 11, 2017

1 Min Read
WIDESPREAD STRIPE RUST: This is the third successive year that stripe rust has been found on fall-planted wheat in the Panhandle.Robert Harveson

Reports of stripe rust in wheat, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, were noted this fall throughout Panhandle wheat fields, particularly in Kimball and Banner counties.

Now, reports of additional epidemics ranging from Garden County in the east to the Wyoming border in the west and to northern Box Butte County near Hemingford have come in.

This is the third successive year that stripe rust has been found on fall-planted wheat in the Panhandle. These findings have also coincided with disease outbreaks resulting in serious damage in 2015 and 2016 from numerous locations. The findings in October and November suggest possible disease outbreaks again in 2017.

Simple field experiments were implemented in mid-November with the assistance of crop consultants and wheat producers, in an attempt to gather preliminary data for evaluating the efficiency and importance for fall fungicide applications for future reference. These trials were begun at numerous sites throughout the Panhandle, in both commercial wheat fields and University of Nebraska-Lincoln research plots.

At this point, how the outbreak will affect wheat crops in 2017 is uncertain. These infections in lawn grasses could serve as a reservoir for pathogen survival over the winter, potentially resulting in early infections of wheat crops next spring.

It also suggests that the same phenomenon could also potentially occur in some perennial grass weed if insulated with a layer of snow. Stripe rust was identified from jointed goat grass earlier this summer. It is something to watch for this spring when lawns and wheat crops emerge from dormancy.

Harveson is a Nebraska Extension plant pathologist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center.

 

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