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Stripe Rust Threatens Local Wheat Crop

Stripe Rust (USDA)

MSU Extension agents around the Golden Triangle are warning producers to be on the lookout for Stripe Rust, a serious wind-borne fungal disease.  According to MSU Extension Service plant pathologist Dr.Mary Burrows this cool, wet spring has provided the perfect environment for the fungus to thrive. Outbreaks have already been documented in Hill, Chouteau, Pondera and Liberty Counties. Toole County producers can probably expect to find it, too, says Toole Co agent Jeannie Olmstead.

All local agents recommend producers walk their fields to look for symptoms of Stripe Rust. As you see in the photo, you’re looking for rows of yellow, red or brown spots. If you rub the spots, you should see a powdery residue on your skin.  Olmstead says the disease damages the flag leaf can occur any time up to the flowering stage, when the plant’s physiology changes. According to Dr. Burrows, some wheat varieties are more resistant to Stripe Rust than other, but even the resistant varieties are not immune.

Fungicides are available to help protect uninfected crops, and treat those fields where Stripe Rust is detected, however, Dr. Burrows warns that some fungicides are becoming short in supply, so you’ll want to contact a supplier right away.

For more information about Stripe Rust, check this website from the USDA’s Agricultural research Service.

The MSU Extension service offers a free email bulletin to keep producers informed about crop and livestock issues and events. To sign up, go to MSU AgAlert .

The Toole County Extension office has a brand new website, too…msuextension.org/toole

And Pondera Co agent Dan Picard just sent me this link to the MSE Extension Service’s plant pathology page.

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