University of Wyoming Extension News

Stripe rust, wheat stem sawfly pestering southeast Wyoming wheat fields

UW Extension plant pathologist Bill Stump

UW Extension plant pathologist Bill Stump

University of Wyoming scientists found stripe rust and wheat stem sawfly affecting wheat fields in southeastern Wyoming during their survey of 61 field sites.

UW Extension plant pathologist Bill Stump and research assistant Wendy Cecil, both in the Department of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, toured fields June 9-13 and June 16-17.

Overall wheat yields are expected to be above average, according to their report, but they found several dryland fields noticeablyinfected by stripe rust in southeastern Goshen, eastern Laramie and Platte counties. Warm and dry weather could curtail the extent of the disease, they noted.

Wheat stem sawfly was observed at higher incidences than in previous years. The insect, which is a serious concern in the Northern Great Plains, is becoming more of a pest in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado, Stump and Cecil said.

Some fields had infestations of feral rye, downy brome, mustard, sunflower, bindweed and/or joined goat grass, especially in poor wheat stands. Feral rye was especially prevalent in some areas of Goshen County.

Wyoming producers planted 160,000 acres of wheat this year – up 7 percent from 2013, according to the USDA. Higher precipitation at critical times helped boost this year’s growing conditions.

Stump said a more complete report is available upon request. He can be reached at 307-766-2062 or at