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Threats to Wheat Root Health

January 26, 2017

We previously discussed how root health is key to a successful wheat crop. Let’s take a deeper dive into the many factors that contribute to poor root health and decreased crop productivity:

  • Drought. In many regions around the world, cereals are grown in areas subject to short-term drought periods, which leads to troublesome yield inconsistencies.
  • Reduced tillage/zero tillage/irrigation. Good land practices favor the prevalence of root diseases.
  • Rhizoctonia quickly infects germinating seeds and young seedlings, and nibbles away at root tips.
  • Pythium can cause lesions around the root which leads to seedling collapse.
  • Fusarium infects the roots and eventually spreads to the crown.
  • Wireworms threaten crop yield and quality by attacking root systems.
  • Limited crop rotation impacts root health by creating a more hospitable soil environment for diseases and contributes to the “green bridge” effect.

This reinforces the need for strong and fast root development early-on to help ensure enhanced water and nutrient uptake. By incorporating preventive measures – including best management practices and seed treatment applications – growers can help ensure healthy root systems and get their crops started on the right foot.

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