A University of Wyoming spring survey of the winter wheat crop in southeastern Wyoming revealed signs of stripe rust, a disease that caused yield losses in 2015.
“For the most part, Wyoming’s wheat crop looks to be in good shape, but stripe rust is beginning to show up,” said William Stump, University of Wyoming Extension plant pathologist and assistant professor in the plant sciences department, which conducted the survey.
Stump and research associate Wendy Cecil surveyed 87 field sites, representing 21 growers, in Laramie, Goshen and Platte counties in late April and again May 13-23. Stripe rust was present in 18 of the sites, with varying severity depending on location and cultivar used.
“The heaviest pressures were along the Nebraska border in southeastern Goshen County and northern Laramie County,” said Stump. “Several growers had already sprayed, and their fields were relatively disease-free.”
Cool night temperatures and isolated rains can increase potential for disease development, he said. He advised growers to monitor their wheat for signs of the disease, which include stripes of yellow-to-orange blister-like pustules primarily on leaves. The spores can be easily wiped off, he said.
The fields in the survey varied from dryland to irrigated and from freshly tilled to producing plants with the flag leaf visible.
Stripe rust can be managed with fungicides, and protecting the flag leaf from infection is crucial, Stump said. He noted with current wheat prices, it is not known if spraying for stripe rust in Wyoming dryland wheat would be economically advisable but potentially could pay off for irrigated wheat.
For more information, contact Stump at 307-766-2062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.