Wheat Disease Update

April 16, 1999
After the initial concern about early season virus symptoms on the wheat crop, concerns about diseases have waned. However, it is not quite time to sit back and enjoy the optimal weather conditions. Now is the time to begin scouting for fungal leaf diseases. Of particular concern is Septoria leaf and glume blotch. Septoria first appears as small, light green to yellow areas between the veins of the lowest leaves. The fungus survives on debris on and in the soil. Spring rains provide the right environment for the fungus to produce spores that are splashed onto the lower leaves and initiate infection. These infection sites develop into oval tan-colored lesions. As the lesion matures, small, black fruiting structures can be seen developing in the lesion. With continuing rains, more spores are produced and the disease progresses up the plant.--Suzanne Bissonnette

Author: Suzanne Bissonnette