Spring Wheat Diseases

Spring wheat is a major cereal crop that is distinguished by the time of year that it flowers: in the spring. The infection of a crop with any spring wheat disease can have a major impact not only on that crop yield, but also on future yields in that field. Keep an eye out for signs of spring wheat problems so you can eradicate the issue before your spring wheat crop is imperiled.

Powdery Mildew

While powdery mildew is largely a cosmetic problem in flower gardens, it is a serious issue in spring wheat. Look for white, gray or black patches on the upper surfaces of lower leaves. You can help prevent this problem by watering early in the day without wetting the entire plant, if possible. Also, avoid heavy nitrogen fertilization. Remove affected plants immediately from the vicinity and do not allow them to fall on the ground, but rather bag and dispose of them. Foliar fungicides are good preventatives and also can help control an infection.

Septoria Leaf Blotch

This form of leaf blotch starts out as mushy, yellow discolorations on the leaves, then expands and dries out until the leaf is covered in orange and reddish brown lesions. Untreated, it will destroy the crop. You can help prevent the spread of leaf blotch by removing all infected plant material and using foliar fungicides on crops before a problem develops.

Wheat Stem Maggot

Wheat stem maggot causes spring wheat to turn white on the heads of the plant because the larvae tunnel into the stems of the wheat and eat the insides. In most cases, wheat stem maggots are so devastating to crops that they are controlled with strong pesticides. However, there are no surefire controls at this time, according to North Dakota State University. Rotating your spring wheat with another crop like corn, sunflowers, flax or soybeans can help limit wheat stem maggot invasions.

Keywords: spring wheat diseases, wheat problems, spring wheat problems

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Carole VanSickle has over five years experience working with scientists and creative scholars to promote and explain their work. She is based in Atlanta, Ga., and specializes in scientific, medical and technical writing, SEO and educational content.