Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – June 23, 2020

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Figure 1. Septoria leaf blotch on a wheat leaf.

We are now well past the time to apply fungicide on winter wheat in Wisconsin. Anthesis has come and gone and now it is time to scout for the predominant diseases to start planning for harvest. We have not observed any symptoms of Fusarium head blight (FHB or scab) yet, but we will continue traveling and scouting.

We are beginning to observe increasing levels of foliar diseases on winter wheat in the state. Septoria leaf blotch (Fig. 1) is visible in the lower canopy and moving up the canopy in many fields we have been in, as weather remains wet and humid. Fungicide applications for FHB should slow the progress of Septoria leaf blotch up the canopy, but care should be taken to monitor the progress of this disease.

Figure 2. Barley yellow dwarf on winter wheat in Wisconsin. Note the purpled flag leaves.

We are also finding higher than normal levels of Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) in winter wheat (Fig. 2). Levels of BYDV are between 5 and 10% incidence on some varieties in the uniform variety trials. Higher levels may be a result of earlier than normal aphid flights this spring due to mild conditions. Regardless, I don’t think there is a huge amount of concern, as many varieties are resistant and levels observed are still below that at which yield might be reduced.

Finally, we have observed Cephalosporium stripe on wheat at the Arlington uniform variety trial location (Fig. 3). We have seen this disease occurring more frequently in the state over the last couple of seasons. One reason might be shorter rotations between wheat in some fields and potentially increased susceptibility in some varieties. I would say that this season it isn’t severe as far as we have seen, but we will rate the disease and report results if they look meaningful. You will remember that in 2019, we had a severe epidemic of Cephalosporium stripe at our Sharon, WI uniform variety trial location. The severity ratings can be found in the trial report.

Figure 3. Cephalosporium stripe of winter wheat in Wisconsin.

We continue to look for stripe rust in the state. While we have found it at VERY low levels in a couple of locations, we have not seen increased occurrence or severity since the initial observations. Hot and dry weather has kept this disease under control. We will continue to scout wheat in the state and report the results of our observations here. Until then, get out and SCOUT, SCOUT, SCOUT!

Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – June 2, 2020

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Figure 1. Fusarium Risk Tool prediction for FHB-susceptible varieties of winter wheat in Wisconsin on June 2, 2020.

Winter wheat in Wisconsin is moving through growth stages very rapidly over the past week due to ample moisture and heat. I have visited several fields this week with heads emerging or almost completely emerged. Anthesis (flowering) will begin in many winter wheat fields this week, if it hasn’t already started.

With the start of anthesis comes the critical time to consider a fungicide application for Fusarium head blight (FHB or scab). The Fusarium Risk Tool is showing very favorable conditions for the major wheat producing areas of Wisconsin, for susceptible varieties (Fig. 1). Risk is also medium-to-high in these zones for moderately susceptible varieties. Given the heat and high humidity with the multiple chances of rain predicted, a fungicide application may be warranted at this time in your winter wheat fields, especially if you have susceptible varieties.

Remember that the best time to apply a fungicide for FHB control is at the start of anthesis, up to 7 days after the start of anthesis. In Wisconsin, our research has demonstrated that we can significantly reduce the levels of deoxynivalenol (DON or vomitoxin) in finished grain if we wait until 5 days after the start of anthesis to apply our FHB fungicide. This is due to the fact that we often have uneven head emergence in our fields and delaying applications a few days after the start of anthesis can let these heads (or those on secondary tillers) “catch up.”

Fungicides considered most consistent in efficacy in University research include Prosaro®, Caramba®, and Miravis Ace®. Efficacy ratings for these and other products can be found on the Crop Protection Network’s Fungicide Efficacy for Control of Wheat Diseases fact sheet. Results from fungicide efficacy trials from the Badger Crop Docs, can be found BY CLICKING HERE. Research trials from 2019 that include the newest fungicide, Miravis Ace®, can be found BY CLICKING HERE and scrolling down to the last several pages. Remember, that the goal is to reduce damage by FHB and reduce DON levels as far below 2ppm as possible. The ideal method to do this includes an integrated approach of using resistant varieties and well-timed fungicide applications.

Figure 2. Stripe rust occurrence for a portion of the U.S. as of June 2, 2020

In our travels over the past week we also found stripe rust at very low levels in the Wisconsin Winter Wheat Variety trial located in Chilton, WI (Calumet Co.). We have documented this on the stripe rust monitor (Fig. 2). This was at low severity on flag leaves of known susceptible and moderately susceptible varieties of winter wheat. We have not observed stripe rust in the other variety trials in the state, or in other fields we have visited at this point. I believe that the high heat will keep stripe rust moving slowly. In addition, fungicide applications that will be applied for FHB control will also be effective in reducing the severity of stripe rust.

Now is the time to get out and SCOUT, SCOUT, SCOUT and make those educated fungicide spraying decisions!

Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – May 27, 2020

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Figure 1. Fusarium Risk Tool prediction for FHB-susceptible varieties of winter wheat in Wisconsin on May 27, 2020.

Winter wheat in Wisconsin has responded to above average temperatures and rainfall, rapidly advancing through growth stages. In just a week or so, mainstems have rapidly elongated. In some varieties in southern and south-central Wisconsin, flag leaves are fully out. While now is a good time to consider a fungicide application, foliar disease has been non-existent in fields we have been in. We are monitoring the stripe rust situation carefully, and while it is active in states to our south, we have not observed any in fields we have scouted. The above average heat will also keep stripe rust moving slowly, especially in varieties with moderate resistance. So for now, I think we can hold off on fungicide. With margins being tight, I think it is wise to keep our fungicide application for Fusarium head blight (FHB or scab). Fungicides directed toward FHB are also effective against stripe rust, should it move in later in the season. Continue to scout fields between now and head emergence to catch any foliar diseases that might emerge.

Speaking of FHB, conditions have been VERY conducive for this disease in Wisconsin over the past week. The Fusarium Risk Tool is showing very favorable conditions for the entire state of Wisconsin for susceptible varieties (Fig. 1) and favorable conditions in the southern portion of the state for even moderately resistant varieties. This situation needs to be monitored over the next few days as heads start to emerge and anthesis (flowering) begins. Humid/wet and warm conditions will keep risk of FHB high as anthesis begins. We have also had several years of significant FHB and Gibberella ear rot in corn, meaning we have ample inoculum sources locally to initiate FHB epidemics. Farmers with winter wheat should be prepared to make a fungicide application if these conditions persist, especially those with wheat varieties rated as susceptible to FHB.

Remember that the best time to apply a fungicide for FHB control is at the start of anthesis, up to 7 days after the start of anthesis. In Wisconsin, our research has demonstrated that we can significantly reduce the levels of deoxynivalenol (DON or vomitoxin) in finished grain if we wait until 5 days after the start of anthesis to apply our FHB fungicide. This is due to the fact that we often have uneven head emergence in our fields and delaying applications a few days after the start of anthesis can let these heads (or those on secondary tillers) “catch up.”

Fungicides considered most consistent in efficacy in University research include Prosaro®, Caramba®, and Miravis Ace®. Efficacy ratings for these and other products can be found on the Crop Protection Network’s Fungicide Efficacy for Control of Wheat Diseases fact sheet. Results from fungicide efficacy trials from the Badger Crop Docs, can be found by CLICKING HERE. Research trials from 2019 that include the newest fungicide, Miravis Ace®, can be found by CLICKING HERE and scrolling down to the last several pages. Remember, that the goal is to reduce damage by FHB and reduce DON levels as far below 2ppm as possible. The ideal method to do this includes an integrated approach of using resistant varieties and well-timed fungicide applications. Continue to monitor the wheat disease situation closely and get out and Scout, Scout, Scout!

Timely Wheat Disease Management Video Series and Wheat Fungicide Information

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Roger Schmidt, Nutrient and Pest Management Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Winter wheat in Wisconsin is finally starting to move along in growth stages. Warmer weather is helping to increase tillering. As wheat begins to move through growth stages, diseases and disease management will begin to be of concern. To assist in making wheat disease management decisions in Wisconsin, we have developed a 3-video series on the subject. Each video talks about making fungicide application decisions at the critical growth stages in for management in Wisconsin. The video series can be found below:

For information about fungicides and fungicide efficacy for winter wheat diseases, you can check out the “Fungicide Efficacy for Control of Wheat Diseases” fact sheet on the Crop Protection Network Website. Fact sheet A3878 – Fungicide Resistance Management in Corn, Soybean, and Wheat in Wisconsin has also been updated and available by CLICKING HERE.

Local data from fungicide efficacy trials in Wisconsin are also available on the Wisconsin Fungicide Test Summary Page. These trials date back to 2013 with the latest data from 2019. Be sure to scroll all the way through the documents as the wheat trials generally are listed toward the end of the documents.

Finally, don’t forget to get out and Scout, Scout, Scout to best make your in-season wheat disease management decisions!

Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – May 6, 2020

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Badger Crop Docs have started scouting wheat in south-central Wisconsin over the past few days. In general the crop needs some heat and is moving slow. However, the overall health looks good.

The mild winter of 2019/2020 was needed as a lot of the wheat was planted late and into less than ideal conditions last fall, due to the extremely wet weather. The mild winter spared stands that weren’t well established, including some of our own research plots. Most fields we have been in are still tillering.

No visible disease is present in any of the fields we have scouted. However, it will be important to keep visiting fields and scout. Also be sure to pay attention to local extension and follow our blog to keep up to speed on any developments as we move forward. The biggest disease concerns for Wisconsin wheat will be stripe rust and Fusarium head blight. You will want to be prepared to manage these diseases if they should become problematic. You can keep track of the status of these diseases nationally by visiting the Stripe Rust Ag Monitor and the Fusarium Head Blight Risk Tool The key to managing both diseases is to catch them before they arrive. Both of these resources can be used to help you anticipate the arrival of these diseases in your field. Continue to check back here regularly for more reports and scout, scout, scout!

Don’t let Fusarium Head Blight Keep You Down – Prepare Now to Harvest Those Scabby Wheat Fields

Damon L. Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Shawn P. Conley, Extension Soybean and Small Grains Agronomist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Figure 1. FHB on some wheat heads. Note the bleached and reddened appearance of infected kernels.

Fusarium head blight (FHB) or scab has been observed at moderate to high levels in some Wisconsin winter wheat fields this season. Incidence and severity have been variable by location, susceptibility of the wheat variety, and if a fungicide was applied at or shortly after anthesis. Generally, we have observed more FHB in the southern and south-central wheat growing areas of the state, but it can be found just about everywhere we have visited this year. It is important to scout your maturing wheat crop and consider how much damage from FHB might be in a field as you prepare for harvest. While FHB can cause direct yield loss, the fungus that causes this disease can also produce deoxynivalenol (also known as DON or vomitoxin). Assessing wheat fields now can assist you in determining how much vomitoxin might be expected at harvest. However, it is possible to find high levels of vomitoxin in finished grain, even if FHB levels where low.

What does scab look like? Diseased spikelets on an infected grain head die and bleach prematurely (Fig. 2).  Healthy spikelets on the same head retain their normal green color.  Over time, premature bleaching of spikelets may progress throughout the entire grain head.  If infections occur on the stem immediately below the head, the entire head may die.  As symptoms progress, developing grains are colonized causing them to shrink and wrinkle.  Often, infected kernels have a rough, sunken appearance, and range in color from pink or soft gray, to light brown. As wheat dries down, visual inspection of heads for scab will become more difficult.

Figure 2. Fusarium head blight of winter wheat

Why is identifying scab important? Scab identification is important, not only because it reduces yield, but also because it reduces the quality and feeding value of grain.  In addition, the FHB fungus may produce mycotoxins, including DON or vomitoxin, that when ingested, can adversely affect livestock and human health.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set maximum allowable levels of DON in feed for various animal systems, these are as follows: beef and feedlot cattle and poultry < 10ppm; Swine and all other animals < 5ppm. In addition, local grain elevators test for DON and discount loads of grain for unacceptable levels of the mycotoxin. Be sure to check with your local elevator about their thresholds for docking grain and discount schedule based on the level of DON detected BEFORE you bring a load for delivery.

What should I do to prepare for wheat harvest?

  1. Scout your fields now to assess risk. Wheat is maturing rapidly. As maturity progresses it will be increasingly difficult to assess the incidence and severity of the infection. Understanding a field’s risk will help growers either field blend or avoid highly infected areas so entire loads are not rejected.
  2. DO NOT spray fungicide now. Research has demonstrated that the window of opportunity to manage FHB with fungicides is at the beginning of anthesis and only lasts about 7 days. Applications later than 7 days after the start of anthesis are not effective in controlling FHB. In addition, most fungicide labels do not allow a pre-harvest interval (PHI) suitable for a late application on wheat. Any application now would be off-label.
  3. Adjust combine settings to blow out lighter seeds and chaff. Salgado et al. 2011 indicated that adjusting a combine’s fan speed between 1,375 and 1,475 rpms and shutter opening to 90 mm (3.5 inches) resulted in the lowest discounts that would have been received at the elevator due to low test weight, % damaged kernels, and level of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON; vomitoxin) present in the harvested grain.
  4. Know your elevators inspection and dockage procedure and discount schedule (each elevator can have a different procedure and discount rate).
  5. Scabby kernels does not necessarily mean high DON levels and vice versa. For example, in a 2014 fungicide evaluation very low visible levels of FHB were observed for all treatments. However, when the finished grain was tested for DON, significant levels were identified for all treatments. Be sure to test and know what levels of DON are in your grain even if you didn’t see a high level of visible disease. Also, don’t assume that because a fungicide was used, there will be no DON.
  6. DON can be present in the straw so there is concern regarding feeding or using scab infected wheat straw.  DO NOT use straw for bedding or feed from fields with high levels of scab (Bissonnette et al., 2018; Cowger and Arellano, 2013). If in doubt, have the straw tested for DON levels.
  7. Do not save seed from a scab-infected field. Fusarium graminearum can be transmitted via seed. Infected seeds will have decreased growth and tillering capacity as well as increased risk for winterkill.
  8. Do not store grain from fields with high levels of scab.  DON and other mycotoxins can continue to increase in stored grain.
  9. Harvest in a timely fashion to minimize elevator discounts and balance dockage due to FHB. Click here to read about some recent research on optimizing harvest timing in winter wheat.
  10. For more information on Fusarium head blight click here.

References

  1. Bissonnette, K.M., Kolb, F.L., Ames, K.A., and Bradley, C.A. Effect of Fusarium head blight management practices on mycotoxin accumulation of wheat straw. Plant Dis. 102:1141-1147.
  2. Cowger, C., and Arellano, C. 2013. Fusarium graminearum infection and deoxynivalenol concentrations during development of wheat spikes. Phytopathology 103:460-471.
  3. Salgado, J. D., Wallhead, M., Madden, L. V., and Paul, P. A. 2011. Grain harvesting strategies to minimize grain quality losses due to Fusarium head blight in wheat. Plant Dis. 95:1448-1457.

Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – June 28, 2019

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Badger Crop Docs have been busy scouting production wheat fields and University of Wisconsin-Madison winter wheat variety trials and management trials around the wheat growing region of Wisconsin. Wheat heading and anthesis was very uneven this season. At several locations we visited, we could observe some varieties still in anthesis, while others had finished flowering for some time.  Even within plot, variability existed. This variability has resulted in some difficulty in managing diseases.

Fusarium Head Blight Starting to Show Up

Figure 1. Fusarium head blight of winter wheat

We are beginning to see Fusarium head blight (FHB or scab) showing up in many of the locations we have visited. More scab is apparent in the southern locations, especially in the Arlington area. As you might expect it does vary by variety, but in susceptible varieties incidence is running in the 5-10% range, with more expected to become apparent next week. The primary challenge managing scab this season, has been the uneven anthesis timing. Applications of fungicides for managing scab should begin at anthesis and continue until about 7 days after the start of anthesis. Uneven anthesis across a field can complicate the fungicide application timing, as some heads might be at the right growth stage while others might be still in the boot or already past anthesis. Multiple site-years of research in Wisconsin and the Midwest show that if fungicide is applied before anthesis or 10 days or more after anthesis, poor control of FHB will be achieved with a corresponding unacceptable reduction of vomitoxin. As we get closer to harvest, it will be important to scout your wheat for scab and determine how much damage is present. Careful harvest and cleaning will be necessary in these fields to make sure vomitoxin limits come in below thresholds where dockage and rejection occur for your elevator. Be sure you are familiar with your elevators dockage policies before hauling loads of grain. Each elevator has different rules and regulations.

What is the Situation with Rusts in Wisconsin on Winter Wheat?

Figure 2. Stripe rust on the flag leaf of winter wheat.

We have observed very low levels of both leaf rust and stripe rust. Stripe rust has been observed at extremely low levels, at less than 5% incidence in only one variety at both the Fond du Lac and Sharon uniform variety trial locations. Leaf rust has been observed at similar levels on several varieties in the Arlington uniform variety trial. The late arrival of both of these rusts in Wisconsin will likely result in little yield impact. A fungicide application IS NOT recommended at this point in the season.

Tan Spot is Present At Many Locations

Tan spot has been observed in the lower canopy of wheat at all locations we have visited. The heaviest pressure has been at the Sharon and Arlington locations, with minimal pressure at the Fond du Lac and Chilton locations. Tan spot is remaining in the lower canopy in wheat treated with a fungicide. At Arlington, wheat in several research trials not treated with fungicide have significant tan spot on the flag leaves. If tan spot has reached the flag leaf at this point, yield may be negatively affected. With that said, a fungicide is NOT recommended at this time of season.

Cephalosporium Stripe Present in Sharon and Fond du Lac

Figure 3. Cephalosporium stripe on winter wheat.

We have also observed Cephalosporium stripe in both the Sharon and Fond du Lac uniform variety trials. This is a newer disease of winter wheat in Wisconsin, but has been observed over the past 2 seasons at the Fond du Lac location. This is the first year we have observed Cephalosporium stripe at the Sharon location. At this location, pressure is uniform and significant on several varieties. We observed incidence ranging from 0 to 90% depending on the variety. We believe that pressure is higher this year due to winter heaving and cool wet conditions this spring. No in-season management is available for Cephalospyrium stripe. However, noting which fields and locations in fields that have symptoms will help for future decisions about winter wheat management in those areas. Varieties with genetic resistance are available. Also longer rotations and better grassy-weed control can help reduce the severity of Cephalospyrium stripe. For more information about Cephalospyrium stripe CLICK HERE AND SCROLL DOWN TO THE CEPHALOSPORIUM STRIPE SECTION.

 

Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – June 4, 2019

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wheat heads are close to emergence on some earlier varieties of winter wheat in southern and south-central Wisconsin. Within the next week wheat heads will be emerging and anthesis (flowering) will be starting, with later varieties to follow. Now is the time to prepare for Fusarium head blight (FHB or scab) management. The Fusarium head blight Risk Model (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu) is showing moderate to high levels of risk in the primary wheat growing region of the state over the next 72 hours (Figure 1). Pay close attention to the risk model and your local weather as we approach anthesis (flowering). I anticipate the risk to remain high as periods of rain and humidity persist. Fungicide products of choice to control FHB in Wisconsin include Caramba, Prosaro, and Miravis Ace. Multiple years of data in Wisconsin suggest that the best application window for any of these products begins at the start of anthesis until 5-7 days after the start of anthesis. Applying fungicide before anthesis or more than 7-10 days after anthesis will result in poor performance against vomitoxin accumulation. For information pertaining to recent fungicide studies on winter wheat in Wisconsin, CLICK HERE and scroll to page 12. Other reports can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Figure 1. Fusarium Head Blight Prediction Center 72-hour Outlook for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – May 31, 2019

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Field Crops Pathology crew has spent the last several days scouting winter wheat variety trials and commercial wheat fields in south and south-central Wisconsin. Wheat at all locations observed had flag leaves fully emerged. Weather has been extremely wet and cool across the state. Despite the wet conditions, wheat was generally disease free in all locations visited.

In Sharon, WI wheat looked decent despite challenging winter and spring conditions. The stand was a bit uneven in terms of growth stage, but most varieties looked good. It won’t be a record yield year, but stands look better than anticipated at this location. Wheat at the Arlington location in central Wisconsin looked very good with strong stands combined with even growth stages across varieties. I anticipate yields to be decent. At the Fond du Lac location wheat was in okay shape, however several varieties did experience significant winterkill. Stands were like those in Sharon, with uneven growth stages within varieties.

Figure 1. Fusarium head blight prediction for May 31, 2019

While disease on wheat has been relatively non-existent in Wisconsin, weather has been extremely wet across the state. Considering these conditions, we are worried about the risk for Fusarium head blight (FHB) this year given the weather pattern we have been stuck in. Currently, the Fusarium head blight Risk Model (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu) is showing mostly high levels of risk in the primary wheat growing region of the state (Figure 1). While no heads have emerged, heading will begin in the next 1-2 weeks. Pay close attention to the risk model and your local weather as we approach anthesis (flowering). I anticipate the risk to remain high as periods of rain and humidity persist. Fungicide products of choice to control FHB in Wisconsin include Caramba, Prosaro, and Miravis Ace. Multiple years of data in Wisconsin suggest that the best application window for any of these products begins at the start of anthesis until 5-7 days after the start of anthesis. Applying fungicide before anthesis or more than 7-10 days after anthesis will result in poor performance against vomitoxin accumulation. For information pertaining to recent fungicide studies on winter wheat in Wisconsin, CLICK HERE and scroll to page 12. Other reports can be found by CLICKING HERE. Flag leaves are out, get out and scout!

Wisconsin Winter Wheat Disease Update – May 21, 2019

Damon Smith, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian Mueller, Assistant Field Researcher, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Figure 1. Septoria leaf blotch on wheat leaves

Winter wheat in Wisconsin continues to move through growth stages at a fairly even pace. Winter wheat plots in our research program located at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station, Arlington, Wisconsin are just approaching the emerging flag leaf stage. Perhaps by the weekend or early next week, flag leaves will have emerged. Interestingly, this growth stage will likely occur almost at the same date as in 2018. Last season, we applied our Feekes 8 fungicide treatments on May 25th. So while it has been cool, and wheat appears to be moving through growth stages slowly, things aren’t too far off from 2018.

Weather remains very wet. Most wheat we have scouted this week appears to be clean of disease. One concern we have is the development of Septoria leaf blotch. In 2016 we had an early epidemic of this leaf disease, that impacted yield. The cool conditions are not particularly conducive for this disease, but the high humidity and wet conditions certainly are. Weather forecasts indicate warmer conditions over the next week, thus keep your eyes peeled for the development of the disease.

Figure 2. Pycnidia in a Septoria leaf blotch lesion.

Septoria leaf blotch can be identified by necrotic lesions that develop on leaves of winter wheat (Figure 1). Small fruiting structures (pycnidia) can often be identified inside the necrotic area of the lesions, with the naked eye or a good hand lens (Figure 2). Prolonged wet/humid conditions broken by a brief dry period, followed by more wet conditions, can favor infection. Temperatures between 60 and 77 F favor disease development. Septoria leaf blotch can be managed with varietal resistance (both race-specific and partial resistance) and also fungicides. For a list of effective fungicides for Septoria leaf blotch control, CLICK HERE to download a copy of the Small Grains Fungicide Efficacy Table. For more information pertaining to Septoria leaf blotch, and other related leaf blotch diseases, CLICK HERE to download a fact sheet.

Reports from the the mid south and plains states continue to indicate stripe rust is on the move. Continue to monitor and scout wheat as your crop moves into the flag leaf stage and to heading. If stripe rust moves in, a fungicide application may be warranted. As I indicated in my previous update, we did not have a stripe rust epidemic in 2018, in Wisconsin. Thus, there was no inoculum in the state to infect fall-sown wheat. Inoculum for an epidemic to initiate in 2019 will have to come from the southern U.S. The best way to make an educated decision to spray is to scout and catch the disease in its early stages. Continue to pay attention to extension reports as we track stripe rust from the southern U.S., northward.