Normal Year For Stripe Rust
In mid-May Xianming Chen, Research Plant Pathologist and Agricultural Research Service stripe rust expert with the USDA and Washington State University, predicted that stripe rust in the state of Washington will definitely not be as severe as it was in 2011, when it caused severe losses for wheat producers in terms of yield and treatment costs. He continues to stand by that prediction. Though the fungus is starting to now show up in wheat fields in south-central, central, and eastern Washington Chen says it was still far more plentiful by this time last year.
CHEN: This year definitely we are not as bad as last year. Last year by this time stripe rust was very severe, but this year it is generally much lower than last year at this time.
Chen explains that in some of the experimental wheat fields near Walla Walla stripe rust developed to 60% of severity and incidence on winter wheat by June 7. This is due in part to these fields being planted with susceptible varieties of winter wheat. Stripe rust was hard to find though in most of the commercial fields Chen checked on June 7. The rain showers and lower temperatures over the last couple of weeks have created favorable conditions for stripe rust though, and Chen predicts that the fungus will begin to develop more rapidly over the next three weeks.
Chen’s advice for wheat growers is to check their fields and spray fungicide if they have susceptible or moderately susceptible varieties, and that it is better to spray when they see rust reaching 1 to 5% severity.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.