By: Barb Ziesman, AAg, Provincial Plant Disease Specialist
Producers should be on alert for wheat rusts this growing season, particularly in central to eastern Saskatchewan. This means actively scouting winter wheat and susceptible spring wheat varieties for rust symptoms prior to making fungicide application decisions.
Producers who find stripe rust should determine their wheat variety’s resistance to stripe rust, as well as monitor the disease progression as part of the fungicide application decision. Resistance ratings can be found in the Varieties of Grain Crops or SaskSeed Guide.
Stripe rust was reported to be prevalent and widespread in the United States this spring. Higher disease rates means more spores will be produced and potentially released into the upper atmosphere air parcels. It is also possible for the pathogen to have survived on winter wheat and volunteer spring wheat plants during a relatively mild winter. This is likely the case when stripe rust was reported in southern Alberta earlier this spring. However, so far there has been one report of stripe rust in Saskatchewan.
Watch for further rust updates and risk assessments based on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s monitoring of wind trajectories from areas with rust. Report signs of rust to the Ministry’s Provincial Plant Disease Specialist (Barb Ziesman: 306-787-4671 or firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can keep everyone posted on disease incidences this season.