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Three Tips for Wheat Disease Management

August 22, 2017
This agronomic image shows trial treatment of stripe rust and leaf rust on winter wheat.

Caption: Trial demonstrates control of stripe rust and leaf rust on winter wheat with Trivapro (right) vs. untreated (left). (Trial in Wharton, TX)

Growers across the South and East Coast are tying up their boots to prepare for another winter wheat season. Planting plans should be fairly well laid out, and while spring seems far off, it’s still important to have a plan for managing diseases since they caused plenty of issues during the 2016-17 season. From stripe rust in North Carolina and Virginia to powdery mildew in Kentucky and Oklahoma to tan spot in Oklahoma, winter wheat fields faced many challenges because of earlier warm and wet weather patterns.

The key to a successful 2017-2018 winter wheat season is to get ahead with a proactive disease management plan. Follow these 3 tips to help knock out diseases:

  1. Know your opponent. Since disease pressure in wheat is closely tied to weather, it can be unpredictable. Some diseases, like stem rust, favor warm temperatures and strike later in the season. Others, like stripe rust, prefer cooler temperatures and start in southern states before spreading north. Being able to use environmental “tells” can help growers predict when diseases may hit their fields.
  2. Scout regularly. To stay ahead, growers should scout early and at multiple stages of the growing season, increasing intensity during potential outbreaks.
  3. Plan for a fungicide spray. It only takes a small amount of inoculum for a disease to develop and spread under favorable weather conditions. To prevent its spread, be proactive and apply a fungicide like Trivapro® for longer-lasting control of key foliar diseases. When diseases are controlled, like in the photo above, leaves remain green to help fill out wheat heads and deliver higher yields.

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