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Stripe Rust Update, June 1, 2018

Posted by jason.sprott | June 4, 2018

Xianming Chen

Stripe Rust Is Low in the Palouse Region of Washington and Idaho

Yesterday, we were checking wheat fields in the Whitman county of Washington and Latah county of Idaho.  Winter wheat ranged from boot (Feekes 10) to flowered (Feekes 10.53).  Crops in most fields were in excellent conditions.  Stripe rust was found in few commercial winter wheat fields in very low incidence (less than <0.1%).  Most of the infections occurred on top leaves, indicating the infection occurred in this spring.  An example of infection is shown in Figure 1.  We only found one plant infected last fall between Malden and Pine City in Whitman County.   In contrast, stripe rust has developed fast in our experimental fields near Pullman since the last report in on May 8.  Stripe rust reached to 100% incidence and 30-80% severity on susceptible varieties.  Examples are shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3.

Stripe rust in a winter wheat

Figure 1. Stripe rust in a winter wheat field in Whitman County, WA on May 31, 2018


Severe stripe rust

Figure 2. Severe stripe rust of natural infection in an experimental field of winter wheat, near Pullman, WA on May 31, 2018


Infected winter wheat plants

Figure 3. Infected winter wheat plants producing stripe rust spores in an experimental field, near Pullman, WA on May 31, 2018


Spring wheat ranged from late tillering (Feekes 3) to heading stage (Feekes 10.1).  Stripe rust just started appearing on susceptible spring wheat varieties next to heavily rusted winter wheat plots in our experimental fields near Pullman.  No rust was found in any of the commercial spring wheat fields.  Also, no rust was found in the spring barley fields checked in both counties.

Stripe rust was easily found on goat grasses near or in rust-free winter wheat fields in both counties.  At some spots, goat grass plants were heavily infected by stripe rust (Figure 4 and Figures 5).  Stripe rust on goat grass is usually wheat stripe rust and sometimes barley stripe rust.  If stripe rust is only on goat grass or other grasses in or near a wheat field and wheat plants do not have rust, the rust will not affect the wheat crop because of its resistance to the particular race or races on the grass.


Goat grass plants

Figure 4. Goat grass plants at the edge of a rust-free winter wheat field heavily infected by the stripe rust pathogen in the Palouse region, May 31, 2018


A close-up picture of goat grass leaf

Figure 5. A close-up picture of goat grass leaf infected by stripe rust, May 31, 2018


Severe physiological leaf spot (Figure 6) was found in some winter wheat fields, which is caused by chloride deficiency and other factors, but not by fungal pathogens.  Fungicide application does not reduce this problem.


Physiological leaf spot

Figure 6. Physiological leaf spot in a winter wheat field in the Palouse region, May 31, 2018


Because stripe rust pressure is still low, for winter wheat crops before flowering (Feekes 10.5), fungicides are not recommended for the crops of resistant and moderate resistant varieties (ratings 1-4 in the Seed Buyer’s Guide), unless active rust pustules are easily found in the fields.  For fields grown with susceptible or moderately susceptible winter wheat varieties (ratings 5-9), fungicide may be applied if active rust can be easily found and the crop has not passed the flowering stage.  For spring wheat, fungicide is recommended at the time of herbicide application only for fields grown with susceptible and moderately susceptible varieties (ratings 5 to 9).   Fungicide application is not recommended for spring barley, unless active rust can be found in the field.

Stripe Rust in Other States

So far, stripe rust has been reported in 15 states (Arkansas, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, California, Kentucky, Kansas, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia).  Compared to this time of the last year, stripe rust is at relatively localized and at low levels. Depending upon the region and crop stage, stripe rust still has potential to cause localized damage in northern states.  Follow regional recommendations for disease management.

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