Thursday, June 15, 2017

Disease in small grains: When to spray, what to spray, when not to spray!

by Madeleine Smith, Small grains Extension pathologist winter-wheat

Warmer, wetter weather seems to be here at last. As always, the question arises regarding disease risk and fungicide for use against leaf disease and what should I spray? In Minnesota it helps to think of fungicide decision making in broadly three time categories.

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Wheat Disease Forecasting Web Site

The Wheat Disease Forecasting Web site is available for consulting to assess disease risk for:


This valuable tool is updated with current weather conditions. The models provide a forecast for risk of developing these diseases based on the environment.

The Head Blight / Scab model can also be customized by the user to select for wheat genetics. If a variety is known to be very susceptible, susceptible or moderately resistant, the user can select that condition and get a forecast for risk based on those varietal traits. Numerous, specific varieties can also be selected for their risk forecast 

In addition, there is regular commentary on crop and disease development from:

  • Dr. Madeleine Smith, UMN Small Grains Pathologist 
  • Dr. Jochum Wiersma, UMN Small Grains Specialist 

Both are located at the UMN Northwest Research and Outreach Center, Crookston.

There are numerous other resources provided through the disease forecasting site. Be sure to make this a must visit reference as you begin making fungicide treatment decision in the future weeks.