Kansas wheat disease update: Leaf rust and stripe rust

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Last week, Erick DeWolf, Extension Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, surveyed for wheat diseases in south central and southwest Kansas. The wheat these areas of Kansas was generally in various stages of grain fill.

Dry conditions have dominated the weather pattern in most of Kansas this year, helping to keep the rust diseases at low levels. Despite these dry conditions, he found low levels of leaf rust and stripe rust in most counties he visited in southern Kansas. Counties with leaf rust included: Sumner, Harper, Barber, Pratt, Reno, Harvey, Meade, and Ford. Counties with stripe rust included: Sumner, Harper, Barber, Pratt, Meade and Ford.

The disease incidence is less than 2 percent in most fields. Severity is generally less than 1 percent. The risk of the rust diseases causing problems in southern Kansas appears to be low this year.

North central and northwest Kansas are now moving into the early heading and flowering stages of growth. These areas of the state have received more rain than southern Kansas. Low levels of leaf rust and stripe rust have been reported in this area and we may see an increase of disease late in the growing season in this area.  

There is no stem rust to date in Kansas.

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