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Stripe rust: Don’t forget to look for it

By: Barb Ziesman, AAg, Provincial Plant Disease Specialist

Stripe rust on winter wheat
Stripe rust may overwinter on winter wheat after a mild winter,
or may appear after spores blow in from infected wheat
in the Pacific Northwest or central Midwest regions of the
United States. Photo was taken in Alberta in 2014.  
Photo credit Joseph Nyachiro.
Producers should be on the alert for wheat rusts this growing season.  Stripe rust has been 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.

Stripe rust has been confirmed on winter wheat near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Producers should actively scout winter wheat and suspect spring wheat varieties for rust symptoms prior to making fungicide application decisions.  When stripe rust has been found, producers should determine their wheat variety’s resistance to stripe rust and monitor the disease progression as part of the fungicide application decision making process.  Resistance ratings can be found in the Varieties of Grain Crops or SaskSeed Guide.

Please report signs of rust to the Ministry’s Provincial Plant Disease Specialist (Barb Ziesman: 306-787-4671 or so we can keep everyone posted on disease incidences this season. 

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