By Top Crop Manager
Apr. 25, 2016 - Stripe rust has been identified in winter wheat in Lethbridge and Olds this spring.
Stripe rust, caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis, can affect wheat, barley, and triticale, and causes substantial losses of yield.
"It's crucial that growers start monitoring for this disease now," says Michael Harding, research scientist at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. "That way, they are in a better position to manage it."
Named for the telltale yellow stripe on the leaf blade of an infected plant, stripe rust has a very specific range of temperatures and moisture essential for its onset and development. "Spore germination and entrance into the host plant occurs in the 5-20 degrees range, with the optimum being around 15-20 degrees, with wet conditions caused by rain showers or high humidity," says Harding. Hot and dry growing conditions can help mitigate the spread.
So what are the options for growers to manage rust stripe's severity, or prevent it all together? "Producers can grow resistant cultivars, scout for infection, and apply fungicide in a timely manner" says Harding. "By proactively planning to manage the disease, producers can minimize, and even prevent, stripe rust from affecting their operation."
For more information on stripe rust, please visit Stripe Rust 101. For detailed information on available fungicides, download Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's Crop Protection 2016 (the "Blue Book").