Throughout April spring thunderstorms and high humidity across the Southern and Central Plains have given wheat growers fits with spreading rust and powdery mildew disease.
The Cereals Disease Laboratory noted increased incidences of both diseases in this year's early spring, reporting that stripe rust is spread from Texas to the Dakotas each year on south winds, causing up to 20 million bushels of lost production. .
Syngenta agronomic service representative Tony Driver, in Texas, says the wheat crop is progressing early and well, but the diseases are both more prevalent than usual.
The conditions are expected to keep growers on their toes combatting the disease as the winter wheat crop progresses to maturity from Texas and Oklahoma on into Kansas and Nebraska over the next few weeks
Greg McCormack, a cereals crop specialist with Syngenta in Kansas, says growers need to finish out the season looking for potential damage to the all-important flag leaf in wheat. "Not only do we have more yield potential to protect this year, but there is more disease pressure to threaten us."
McCormack says timing of fungicide application is important and properly-timed and applied fungicides have shown to be profitable in the past.
Growers in Kansas and Nebraska, and further north, still have the opportunity to take advantage of disease control with early flag leaf growth and emergence.