Wind Finally Dies Down But It May Leave a Legacy for Wheat Growers

Kansas Viewpoint

Possible new strain of stripe rust found in Texas on varieties known to be resistant to rust

Published on: April 8, 2010

The 30-mph winds that raged for the first three days of this week have finally died down to a gentle breeze, but they very well may have left an unwanted gift: rust spores from Texas.

And this year that is big cause for concern, say scientists as Kansas State University because rust infection in Texas wheat is already severe. In addition, stripe rust has been detected on varieties known to be resistant to rust, leading researchers to be concerned about a new strain of the foliar disease that defeats the genetic package of resistance growers rely on.

Kansas State University plant pathologist Erick DeWolf said infected varieties include Fuller, Santa Fe, Art, Overley, Jagger and Jagalene. Wheat disease specialists and breeders are working to determine if the reports represent an underlying change in the stripe rust population within the region.

Cool temperatures and frequent rainfall through the region has favored the early development of rust diseases, DeWolf said.

To help growers, consultants, applicators, Extension agents and others in the wheat industry learn about the identification and management of leaf and stripe rust on wheat, K-State Research and Extension will host a Wheat Rust Webinar on Monday, May 3 from 9 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. 

The webinar will include discussion of the identification, management and tolerance of wheat varieties to stripe and leaf rust along with a discussion of the different fungicide options available, said Brian Olson, Northwest Area agronomist with K-State Research and Extension. Time is built into the agenda for questions and answers.

Information and online registration is available at:
"I believe these reports of stripe rust and leaf rust have important implications for wheat producers in Kansas," DeWolf said. "These are the highest severities for stripe rust in recent years, and the severity of the disease on varieties previously thought to be resistant is cause for concern."

DeWolf said that producers do not need to take immediate management action, but that they should monitor the disease situation carefully. 

More information about leaf rust and stripe rust is available in a new K-State Research and Extension publication that can be found online: