24 November 2023, US: Leaf rust, also known as brown rust, is a fungal disease caused by Puccinia triticina. Because the disease lowers a wheat plant’s photosynthetic capacity, it impacts the crop’s growth and development.
The energy that the plant would typically allocate for growth and grain production is instead redirected to combat the disease. This energy diversion can result in smaller, less productive plants and a significant reduction in grain yield.
Leaf rust primarily targets the leaves of the wheat plant. The pustules disrupt the photosynthetic tissue, undermining the plant’s ability to produce food. This disruption can lead to stunted growth and reduced grain size. In severe cases, the disease can also impact the stems and heads, leading to further yield reduction.
This post will outline:
- How to identify leaf rust
- Regions typically affected by leaf rust
- Timing of leaf rust
- How to manage leaf rust in wheat
How to Identify Leaf Rust
Leaf rust manifests as small, round to elongated pustules on wheat leaves, stems, and occasionally, the heads. These pustules, filled with reddish-brown spores, lend the disease its name.
To confirm the presence of leaf rust, look for the characteristic pustules on the wheat leaves. Leaf rust typically first appears on the lower leaves and can eventually spread to engulf the entire plant. These small pustules are often surrounded by a yellow halo, particularly in the early stages of the disease. The pustules then darken to a more reddish-brown hue as the disease progresses.
These pustules can rupture the leaf surface, releasing thousands of spores capable of infecting other plants.
Geographic Reach of Leaf Rust
Leaf rust can strike in any wheat-growing region. However, it tends to be more prevalent in areas with moderate temperatures and high humidity — conditions that favor the growth and spread of the fungus.
Timing of Leaf Rust
The disease typically emerges in late spring or early summer when conditions are most conducive to fungal growth. Nonetheless, it can occur at any time during the growing season if the conditions are favorable.
How to Manage Leaf Rust in Wheat
To control leaf rust in wheat, consider these two products:
- Willowood Teb 45DF
- Willowood Propicon 3.6EC
Please note that specific application rates may vary depending on factors such as crop stage, disease severity, and local regulations. Always refer to the product label for the most accurate and up-to-date application rates for your specific situation.
Crop Protection from FBN®
Proactively scouting for and responding to fungal presence in your fields will help reduce potential crop damage and improve yield. FBN has a wide variety of effective fungicides to help address agronomic pressures and keep your operation on track.
With transparent pricing, straightforward online ordering, detailed product labels and fast direct-to-farm delivery, FBN can help you get the products you need to protect your crops.
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