By Dirk Aaron
Bell County Extension Agent
As a result of the continued wet weather this spring, we are seeing an explosion of stripe rust in area wheat fields. Be sure to keep an eye out for it in your fields (as well as regular leaf rust) and treat it if necessary. Remember that the most important thing is to protect the flag leaf.
Robert Duncan, assistant state small grains/oilseeds extension specialist, soil and crop sciences, in cooperation with Ronald French, state small grains pathology specialist, plant pathology and microbiology and Daniel Hathcoat, small grains/oilseeds program specialist prepared an announcement and sent the alert to all extension agents in our region.
I know that several growers working with their local chemical dealers and applicators have already made at least one application of a fungicide to suppress this problem as we move toward and past the flag leaf stage in our wheat.
They stated that because this winter and early spring have been cooler and wetter than we have experienced in several years, conditions are prime for the development of stripe rust.
The causal agent is the fungus Puccinia striiformis (syn. P. glumarum), which requires a living host to thrive. Symptoms appear as narrow orange-yellow stripes of pustules on leaves, sheaths, awns and glumes.
They noted that in the past, stripe rust has been managed with resistant varieties such as Jagger. Other varieties that are showing a breakdown in resistance in College Station include Jagalene, TAM 203, TAM 401, Jackpot and Fuller. Resistance in TAM 111, Fannin and Doans remains uncompromised so far, as these varieties are currently showing no signs of susceptibility to the current race/races of stripe rust in College Station.
If a planted variety is no longer resistant, disease progress needs to be intensively monitored. If stripe rust is present, chemical management may be necessary to maintain the yield potential. Some options include Folicur, Headline, Quadris, Quilt, Stratego, Tilt and Twinline.
It may be necessary to spray for stripe rust when 1 to 5 percent of the leaves show symptoms. The timing of the fungicide application is critical, and protecting the flag leaf is key. The decision to spray will also be affected by potential yield, the price of wheat, weather, variety resistance, and the chemical and application costs.
The Bell County Pecan Growers Association and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service-Bell County will again host the annual pecan grafting workshop in Belton. Registration is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with the program at 10 a.m. It ends at 1 p.m. Commercial producers will receive two hours CEU's (one IPM, one General) toward their private applicator license. The workshop is free.
Grafting supplies and wood will be available for sale in the lobby of our office starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The event is at 1605 N. Main St. in Belton at the Bell County Extension Office meeting room. For more information, call (254) 933-5305.
If you go
What: Pond Management Clinic
When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Milano Methodist Church Center, Milano
RSVP by Tuesday, $10 fee, 1 CEU
Contact: Milam County Extension Office (254) 697-7045