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Wheat Disease Lookout

Good day,

Here is an excellent article from Beck's Hybrids field agronomist Scott Dickey on wheat disease outlook for 2021.

On Monday while we were planting Sale Bros plot (Beck's Hybrids dealer in SE KS near Cherryvale, KS), we walked through an adjacent wheat field to see what issues we could find.

It was pretty easy to find Stripe Rust in the field. There were also many aphids in the lower half of the canopy. I did not have a hand lens with me to identify what species, but the numbers were great enough I would have added insecticide to any fungicide treatment made to that field.

This particular field was in the Feekes growth stage 7 range. I have seen wheat in other early planted fields near Nevada that appeared to be at Feekes growth stage 8 (the flag leaf is visible but not fully emerged). In Sale Bros field, the heads were becoming well developed and were approximately 6” above the ground.

Here is what the Stripe Rust looked like:

Many fungicides are very effective at controlling Stripe Rust. KSU documents attached indicate that the best time to apply is in the boot stage. With the conditions that we are experiencing (which are pretty good for Stripe Rust development), I would definitely keep an eye on local fields to make sure this disease isn’t exploding. The pathogen that causes Stripe Rust cannot overwinter here, so it has to “migrate” in like Southern Rust of Corn. BUT, once it is here, it can severely damage fields very rapidly if we don’t keep our eyes open.

I have included documents that indicate fungicide efficacy in wheat, insect control in wheat, and a Stripe Rust background document.

The following link takes you to a 2011 document from MU that identifies the main wheat aphids in our area and the recommendations for thresholds. As we get later into wheat season, according to this MU document, the primary aphid species that we should really be watching is the bird cherry oat aphid.

If you have any questions, make sure to give me a call.



Scott Dickey is a Field Agronomist for Beck's Hybrids covering the greater KS area and western Missouri. Scott holds a degree in Weed Science & Biology from Missouri University.


Wheat Insect management
Download PDF • 219KB

K State Wheat Strip Rust
Download PDF • 187KB

KSU Wheat fung Efficacy
Download PDF • 183KB


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