FHB Update from OK, 05/05/18

This past week I was at field days in southwestern Oklahoma (Apache and Altus), and northeastern Oklahoma (Afton). I didn’t see a single leaf or stripe rust pustule at any location. Wheat in southwestern OK ranged from at flowering to kernel formation, and typically was short (less than knee high). There were a few exceptions to this, namely a couple fields near Apache that had been planted on summer fallow ground. Wheat in these two fields looked good with some powdery mildew on the low to mid-canopy. There also was evidence of root rot (white heads) that was caused by Fusarium (Figure 1). This root rot was at a low incidence. By contrast, wheat in northeastern OK was at flowering and typically was over knee-high, thick, and with high yield potential. On many varieties, powdery mildew was heavy in the low and mid-canopy, and in a few instances also was present on the flag leaf (Figure 2). Besides powdery mildew, Septoria leaf blotch was heavy throughout the lower leaves of most varieties. In northeastern OK it appears that if a fungicide is going to be sprayed, that needs to be applied as soon as possible.

Based on my observations this past week and the recent report from Texas, it appears that rust pressure is low across Texas and Oklahoma. Hence, although there still is time for the rusts (especially leaf rust) to impact Oklahoma, it does not appear there will be an early season (during heading) high rust pressure as in most years. I still would be watchful and if you have a variety known to be susceptible to leaf rust with good yield potential (>about 30 bu/acre) I recommend considering a fungicide application. Be sure however, that your wheat has not matured past the allowed time (as indicated on the label) for the fungicide you apply. Additional information related to foliar fungicides can be found on the fungicide label and in OSU Current Reports 7668, Foliar Fungicides and Wheat Production in Oklahoma, which is available at: http://dasnr22.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-4987/CR-76....

--Bob Hunger, Extension Plant Pathologist, Oklahoma State University

For more details, go to the FHB Risk assessment tool at http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu

For the latest news and updates from the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative, go to https://www.scabusa.org