One of the largest increases we have seen is septoria (a leaf blotch complex) in samples of wheat, barley and other cereals. It is typical in a wet growing season and results in shriveled grain and slightly lower yields. This fungus (and others) will overwinter in crop residue, so growers need to be aware of methods such as rotation and seed treatments to try and control the disease.
Levels of wheat samples infected with Fusarium graminearum are approximately the same as last year (7%) although almost 40% of the durum samples are infected. Barley, oats, and other cereal grains have less than a 2% infection rate. These results are from samples tested to date (October 2010) and levels may change as additional samples are analyzed.
The pulse crops have also had a significant increase in seed-borne pathogens this past season. Sclerotinia stem rot, fusarium root rot, and stemphylium leaf blight are showing up in very high levels relative to past years. A disease that is more common in peas is ascochyta and it continues to be a problem with 95% of the samples tested so far being infected with levels as high as 20%.
What Can I Do?
Request one of our disease packages when you get your seed tested to assist in determining seed quality and seed treatment decisions for next spring. Our Fungal Screen™ for cereals (10 seed-borne organisms) and the Complete Disease Diagnostic™ for pulses (6 seed-borne organisms) list the types of pathogen and the percent infection of each one.
Please contact us for further information and to discuss your disease testing requirements.