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Wheat Disease Update: Leaf Rust (07/02/20)

The first report of leaf rust in wheat this year was confirmed last Wednesday (June 24) on a susceptible winter wheat variety in Casselton and a susceptible spring wheat variety in Fargo.

The first report of leaf rust in wheat this year was confirmed last Wednesday (June 24) on a susceptible winter wheat variety in Casselton and a susceptible spring wheat variety in Fargo. Leaf rust was at very low incidence at both locations and only a few pustules were found (Figure 1). Management of leaf rust in is primarily accomplished through the use of resistant varieties. However, if a susceptible variety is being used, a fungicide application may be needed. One important thing to keep in mind is that the need for a fungicide will depend on the variety that is grown and when (growth stage) rust is detected in the field. Research conducted at NDSU in 2016-2018 has shown that when rust diseases are first observed at the early tillering stages and conducive weather (ie: morning dews) occurs, the best time for a fungicide is at flag leaf. However, if rust is detected on a susceptible variety at boot stage or beyond, a fungicide application may not be needed or a fungicide application at early flowering (Fusarium head blight timing) will manage rust and protect yield.

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Andrew Friskop

Extension Plant Pathology, Cereal Crops

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