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Wheat Disease Update – 12 May 2022

This article was written by Meriem Aoun, Small Grains Pathologist

Root/crown/foot rots were observed in multiple wheat fields in April and May in Woods, Cherokee, Blaine, Cotton, and Payne counties. Dr. Amanda Silva reported severely damaged wheat plants in drought stressed fields mainly in Cherokee and Woods counties (Figure 1). Infected plants were stunted and white and had poor root systems. Although the plants were drought stressed throughout the growing season, much of the damage was not noticeable until after wheat heading. Dr. Silva observed pinkish discoloration on infected plants in Cherokee after peeling the leaf sheath in the lower stem internodes, which indicates that the infection was caused by Fusarium (Figure 2).

Figure 1. White, stunted, and drought-stressed plants showing symptoms of root/crown/foot rots (Cherokee county, Oklahoma; photo credit: Dr. Amanda Silva; May 12, 2022).
Figure 2. Pink discoloration indicates that root/crown/foot rot was caused by Fusarium (Cherokee county, Oklahoma; photo credit: Dr. Amanda Silva; May 12, 2022).

The rain in early May in some locations in Oklahoma provided suitable environmental conditions for the appearance of some fungal diseases including rusts. This week, stripe rust was observed in the Stillwater Agronomy Research Station on susceptible wheat varieties like ‘Pete’ and some OSU breeding lines (Figure 3). Leaf rust was found on the susceptible wheat variety ‘OK Bullet” and on some OSU breeding lines (Figure 4). Rust diseases have not been found in other locations in Oklahoma. The current pressure is low and late compared to the previous year due to drought conditions through the growing season. However, rust disease incidence can increase in coming weeks if weather conditions are favorable.

Figure 3. Stripe rust on a susceptible OSU winter wheat breeding line in the Stillwater Agronomy Research Station, Oklahoma (the photo was taken on May 10, 2022).
Figure 4. Initial leaf rust pathogen infection on a winter wheat OSU breeding line in the Stillwater Agronomy Research Station, Oklahoma (the photo was taken on May 10, 2022).

Wheat Disease Update – 28 April 2022

This article was written by Meriem Aoun, Small Grains Pathologist

During April, the Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at OSU received multiple wheat samples showing symptoms of streaking on the leaves. Leaf streaks were greenish yellow and parallel as shown in Figure 1. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) on these samples from different wheat varieties were positive for wheat streak mosaic virus (WSM). WSM infected samples were from fields in multiple counties in Oklahoma including Payne, Blaine, Cimarron, Harper, Grady, and Garfield. A couple of samples that tested positive for WSM were also positive for high plains virus (HPV) and were from Harper and Blaine counties. Both WSM and HPV are transmitted by wheat curl mite. I also observed symptoms of barley yellow dwarf virus (Figure 2) in fields in Payne, Cleveland, and Grady counties.

Figure 1. Wheat streak mosaic virus symptoms on the wheat variety ‘OK Corral’ (Grady County, April 13, 2022).
Figure 2. Symptoms of barley yellow dwarf infection on the wheat variety ‘OK Corral’ in a farmer field in Cleveland County, OK (the photo was taken by Bradley Secraw, extension educator, at Cleveland County on April 26, 2022).

I also observed leaf spotting on the wheat variety ‘OK Bullet’ in the Stillwater Agronomy Research Station. Culturing from the leaves resulted in the identification of the fungi Bipolaris sorokinana which causes spot blotch and Parastagonospora nodorum which causes septoria nodorum blotch. Parastagonospora nodorum was also recovered from leaf spots on leaves of the variety OK Corral in Cleveland County.

Around mid-April, the OSU Diagnostic Lab received a wheat sample from the varietyDoublestop CL Plus’ from Blaine County. I examined the sample and I found that the infected plants were stunted and brown and showed weak root systems (Figure 3). Culturing from infected tissues identified Bipolaris sorokiniana which causes common root rot and Fusarium sp. which cause root, crown and foot rots. These fungi are favored by drought conditions in Oklahoma during the fall and spring. Dr. Silva and Gary Strickland also reported seeing root rot at Cotton county.

Figure 3. Common root rot and Fusarium root, crown and foot rots in a wheat sample from the wheat variety ‘Doublestop CL Plus’ (Blaine County, April 13, 2022).

Wheat Disease Update – 25 March 2022

This article was written by Meriem Aoun, Small Grains Pathologist

Based on my observations in Stillwater wheat fields and communications with multiple county educators in Oklahoma, it is relatively quiet in terms of diseases. In southwestern Texas and during the first week of March, Dr. Amir Ibrahim (Regents Professor & Small Grains Breeder/Geneticist; Texas A&M AgriLife Research) and Dr. Bryan Simoneaux (Research Associate, Texas A&M AgriLife Research) reported infections of stripe rust and leaf rust in naturally infected rust nurseries.

In Castroville, TX (29.3558° N, 98.8786° W) nursery, Drs. Ibrahim and Simoneaux observed a little bit of leaf rust in the lower canopy of the hard red winter wheat variety ‘Jagalene’. In the Uvalde, TX (29.2097° N, 99.7862° W) nursery, they observed some leaf rust on the lower canopy of the hard red winter wheat varieties Jagalene and ‘TAM 110’, however leaf rust infection did not spread uniformly throughout the nursery. They also found good stripe rust infection on Jagalene in Uvalde, TX (Figure 1 & 2).

Figure 1. Leaf rust and stripe rust infections on the same leaf of the susceptible wheat variety Jagalene at Uvalde, TX (Photo by Dr. Bryan Simoneaux on 3 March 2022).
Figure 2. Stripe rust infections on the susceptible wheat variety Jagalene at Uvalde, TX (Photo by Dr. Bryan Simoneaux, on 3 March 2022).

In southwestern Oklahoma and during the first week of March, Gary Strickland (Jackson County Extn Educator) reported seeing only very little tan spot on bottom leaves but nothing major (in terms of percentage infestation). He also noted a few leaves infected with stripe rust. Gary Strickland mentioned that the major issue he observed was winter grain mites.

In the Stillwater Agronomy Research Station and on 24 March 2022, I am starting to observe symptoms of the wheat soil-borne mosaic (SB)/wheat spindle streak mosaic (SS) virus complex on the susceptible hard red winter wheat variety ‘Vona’ in the SB-SS nursery (Figure 3). However, due to the use of resistant varieties, these viral diseases are not a problem in Oklahoma and the central plains.

Figure 3. Symptoms of wheat soil-borne mosaic/wheat spindle streak mosaic virus complex on the susceptible wheat variety Vona in Stillwater, OK

First Hollow Stem Update – 3/10/2022

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8”, or the diameter of a dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (see full explanation). The latest FHS results from OSU forage trials in Stillwater (Table 1) and Chickasha (Table 2) are listed below. For an additional resource, see the Mesonet First Hollow Stem Advisor.

We use an accelerated growth system to report the earliest onset of FHS stage. Trials are seeded early to simulate a grazed system, but the forage is not removed. Varieties reported here with the earliest FHS date should be the first to monitor in commercial fields. In practice, wheat that is grazed will likely reach FHS stage later than reported here, and differences between varieties will likely moderate.

Values can fluctuate from one sampling to another due to environmental variation associated with, among other factors, the winter storm on February 2-4. Additionally, varieties differed widely in their FHS response following this cold period.

Table 1. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Stillwater. Plots were planted on 09/27/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red. The overall average represents the mean FHS for the varieties measured within a date.

Table 2. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Chickasha. Plots were planted on 09/28/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red. The overall average represents the mean FHS for the varieties measured within a date.

Additional resources available:

First Hollow Stem Update – 3/02/2022

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8”, or the diameter of a dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (see full explanation). The latest FHS results from OSU forage trials in Stillwater (Table 1) and Chickasha (Table 2) are listed below. For an additional resource, see the Mesonet First Hollow Stem Advisor.

We use an accelerated growth system to report the earliest onset of FHS stage. Trials are seeded early to simulate a grazed system, but the forage is not removed. Varieties reported here with the earliest FHS date should be the first to monitor in commercial fields. In practice, wheat that is grazed will likely reach FHS stage later than reported here, and differences between varieties will likely moderate.

Values can fluctuate from one sampling to another due to environmental variation associated with, among other factors, the winter storm on February 2-4. Additionally, varieties differed widely in their FHS response following this cold period.

Table 1. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Stillwater. Plots were planted on 09/27/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red. The overall average represents the mean FHS for the varieties measured within a date.

Table 2. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Chickasha. Plots were planted on 09/28/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red. The overall average represents the mean FHS for the varieties measured within a date.

  • Additional resources available:

First Hollow Stem Update – 2/22/2022

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8”, or the diameter of a dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (see full explanation). The latest FHS results from OSU forage trials in Stillwater (Table 1) and Chickasha (Table 2) are listed below. For an additional resource, see the Mesonet First Hollow Stem Advisor.

We use an accelerated growth system to report the earliest onset of FHS stage. Trials are seeded early to simulate a grazed system, but the forage is not removed. Varieties reported here with the earliest FHS date should be the first to monitor in commercial fields. In practice, wheat that is grazed will likely reach FHS stage later than reported here, and differences between varieties will likely moderate.

Values can fluctuate from one sampling to another due to environmental variation associated with, among other factors, the winter storm on February 2-4. Additionally, varieties differed widely in their FHS response following this cold period.

Table 1. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Stillwater. Plots were planted on 09/27/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

Table 2. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Chickasha. Plots were planted on 09/28/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

First Hollow Stem Update – 2/18/2022

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8”, or the diameter of a dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (see full explanation). The latest FHS results from OSU forage trials in Stillwater (Table 1) and Chickasha (Table 2) are listed below. For an additional resource, see the Mesonet First Hollow Stem Advisor.

We use an accelerated growth system to report the earliest onset of FHS stage. Trials are seeded early to simulate a grazed system, but the forage is not removed. Varieties reported here with the earliest FHS date should be the first to monitor in commercial fields. In practice, wheat that is grazed will likely reach FHS stage later than reported here, and differences between varieties will likely moderate.

Values can fluctuate from one sampling to another due to environmental variation associated with, among other factors, the winter storm on February 2-4. Additionally, varieties differed widely in their FHS response following this cold period.

Table 1. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Stillwater. Plots were planted on 09/27/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

Table 2. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Chickasha. Plots were planted on 09/28/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

  • Additional resources available:

First Hollow Stem Update – 2/15/2022

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8”, or the diameter of a dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (see full explanation). The latest FHS results from OSU forage trials in Stillwater (Table 1) and Chickasha (Table 2) are listed below. For an additional resource, see the Mesonet First Hollow Stem Advisor.

We use an accelerated growth system to report the earliest onset of FHS stage. Trials are seeded early to simulate a grazed system, but the forage is not removed. Varieties reported here with the earliest FHS date should be the first to monitor in commercial fields. In practice, wheat that is grazed will likely reach FHS stage later than reported here, and differences between varieties will likely moderate.

Values can fluctuate from one sampling to another due to environmental variation associated with, among other factors, the winter storm on February 2-4. Additionally, varieties differed widely in their FHS response following this cold period.

Table 1. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Stillwater. Plots were planted on 09/27/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

Table 2. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Chickasha. Plots were planted on 09/28/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

  • Additional resources available:

First Hollow Stem Update – 2/10/2022

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8”, or the diameter of a dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (see full explanation). The latest FHS results from OSU forage trials in Stillwater(Table 1) and Chickasha (Table 2) are listed below. For an additional resource, see the Mesonet First Hollow Stem Advisor.

We use an accelerated growth system to report the earliest onset of FHS stage. Trials are seeded early to simulate a grazed system, but the forage is not removed. Varieties reported here with the earliest FHS date should be the first to monitor in commercial fields. In practice, wheat that is grazed will likely reach FHS stage later than reported here, and differences between varieties will likely moderate.

Table 1. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Stillwater. Plots were planted on 09/27/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

Table 2. First hollow stem (FHS) results for each variety collected at Chickasha. Plots were planted on 09/28/21 but not grazed or clipped. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm (5/8″ or the diameter of a dime). The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements. Varieties exceeding the threshold are highlighted in red.

  • Additional resources available:

First hollow stem update

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, Small Grains Extension Specialist

First hollow stem (FHS) occurs just prior to jointing and is the optimal time to remove cattle from wheat pasture. This occurs when there is 1.5 cm (5/8” or the diameter of dime) of hollow stem below the developing grain head (Fig.1). To give you a point of reference, the average FHS date over the past 20 years at Stillwater is March 6.

The photo shows the first hollow stem in wheat
Figure 1. First hollow stem occurs when hollow stem equivalent to the diameter of a dime (1.5 cm) is present below the developing grain head.

Several factors influence the onset of FHS. These include the wheat variety, location, temperature, available moisture, level of grazing, and planting date (later sown wheat will typically reach FHS later). Varieties can differ by as much as three weeks in onset of first hollow stem, and later maturity varieties generally reach first hollow stem later. Dual-purpose producers are encouraged to select varieties that are characterized as medium, late or very late in occurrence of FHS.

The latest FHS results for each variety planted in our forage trial at Stillwater are listed below (Table 1). A few varieties are at FHS (values at or above 1.5 cm), but values are likely to move slowly with current cold conditions in Oklahoma.

The First Hollow Stem Advisor and the updates we provide give an indication of the FHS stem conditions in a particular area. However, because of the number of factors that can influence when FHS occurs, it is extremely important to check for FHS on a field-by-field basis.

Methods for scouting for FHS:

  • Check for FHS in a non-grazed area of the same variety and planting date. Variety can affect FHS date by as much as three weeks and planting date can affect it even more.
  • Dig or pull up a few plants and split the largest tiller longitudinally (lengthways) and measure the amount of hollow stem present below the developing grain head. You must dig plants because the developing grain head may still be below the soil surface at this stage.
  • If there is 1.5 cm (~5/8″) of hollow stem present, it is time to remove cattle.

Table 1. First hollow stem results for each variety collected at Stillwater on 02/06/21. Plots were planted on 09/21/21. The threshold target for FHS is 1.5 cm. The value of hollow stem for each variety represents the average of ten measurements.

Similar to previous years, we will monitor occurrence of FHS in our wheat plots at Stillwater and Chickasha and report the findings on this blog.