Tips on Assessing Wheat Disease

May 6, 2009 at 7:30 am

The May 1, 2009 issue of Purdue’s Pest and Crop newsletter had a really good article on assessing wheat disease. In the article Kiersten Wise discusses how wind damage can mimic certain wheat diseases, such as powdery mildew.  Wheat plant samples were submitted to Purdue University for diagnosis:

The wheat samples in question had gray to brown flecking on the leaves that resembled powdery mildew. After careful inspection, the cause of the leaf flecking was ruled to be wind damage rather than disease. Inspecting wheat leaves with a hand lens can help determine if the spots on the leaves are caused by a fungus. The fungus that causes powdery mildew will produce white fluffy strands of fungal growth, known as mycelia, on the leaf tissue.

In Ohio, according to OSU Pathologist Dr. Pierce Paul, stagonospora leaf and glume blotch, powdery mildew, and leaf rust are the most important yield-reducing leaf diseases. Of these, stagonospora leaf and glume blotch are most common statewide and powdery mildew is most common in the northeast, east central and south central parts of the state.

Tips on wheat disease diagnosis can be obtained from the Ohio Field Crop Disease web site http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/ohiofieldcropdisease/wheat/wheat1.htm

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