Source: Erick DeWolf, Extension Plant Pathology, Kansas State University

The wheat in Kansas is at the jointing stages of growth in most areas of the state this week. In general this growing season has been characterized by dry weather, but rains today are bringing some relief to many areas of state.

Despite the dry conditions, leaf rust was reported in Saline County this week. The disease was still at low levels (less than 5 percent incidence) and in the lower third of the canopy. The varieties affected included Protection and AP503CL2, both of which are known to be susceptible to leaf rust.

It is too early to tell how much of a threat leaf rust will be to wheat production in Kansas this year. The majority of the wheat acres in the state are planted with varieties that have moderate levels of resistance to the disease, suggesting the impact of the disease should be lower than a few years ago when the most common varieties were susceptible to leaf rust. It is early for leaf rust to be found this far north in Kansas, and growers should be monitoring fields for signs of disease. Fields planted to varieties known to be susceptible to leaf rust, including Jagger, Jagalene, and Overley, should be top priories for scouting.

Powdery mildew and septoria leaf blotch have also been observed at multiple locations, but not in all varieties. As with leaf rust, it would be a good idea to check fields for symptoms of disease, especially now that some areas of the state have received some additional rain.

Wheat streak mosaic has been observed at higher levels than in the past 3 years. We will continue to survey for wheat streak mosaic and other viral diseases so that we can better determine their distribution.