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Wisconsin Winter Wheat Update

By Damon Smith and Shawn Conley

Winter wheat in Wisconsin continues to move through growth stages at record pace. We are about 10-14 days ahead on growth stages compared to this time in most years in Wisconsin. The warm spring and timely rain has pushed wheat very quickly.

The likelihood is high that we will see stripe rust in Wisconsin this season. We have continued to scout for this disease and visited several variety and research location this week in southern Wisconsin. We have not found stripe rust yet. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t here. I still encourage you to scout and let us know if you find it or get it confirmed by our Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic.

With the rapid growth stage changes happening, we are quickly approaching the time in the season that we need to be aware of risk and in-season management decisions for Fusarium head blight. Fusarium head blight (FHB) has typically been a more frequently occurring issue in Wisconsin. However, in recent years, our spring seasons have been exceptionally hot and dry leading to little disease. However, this season is different with moderate temperatures and adequate precipitation to make FHB an issue. Not only is the disease yield limiting, but the fungus that causes FHB can also produce the mycotoxin called deoxynivalenol (DON or vomitoxin). DON contamination above 2 ppm in finished grain can often lead to discounts at the elevator or outright rejection. Thus, this disease is worth managing.

Source : wisc.edu

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