April 01, 2020

Preparing for the Growing Season’s Diseases

Planning For And Responding To Diseases in Spring Wheat

By Grant Mehring, WestBred® Technical Product Manager, Northern Region

Only so many management decisions can be addressed during crop planning. In-season observations and subsequent management of the spring wheat crop can increase the yield ceiling and protect against the floor by responding to what the environment gives us. Specifically addressing preparedness for the most yield-robbing diseases is important to consider.

Diseases to Plan Ahead for in 2020

  • Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) has long been the number-one wheat disease across the Northern Plains. Knowing the FHB rating of the varieties you plant is the first step. Next comes monitoring the free moisture (both rain and humidity) and temperature around the flowering period, which is typically within the month of July, but varies by region and planting date.
  • Bacterial Leaf Streak is the disease where cultural controls do not exist beyond selecting varieties with some level of resistance. This disease has incidence where rainstorms have brought wind and even hail and is most damaging to the flag leaf and the plant during grain fill. 2019 showed us just how much yield loss is possible from BLS.
  • Tan Spot is our most common early-season wheat disease starting from the early vegetative growth and working its way up the plant as the conditions allow. Wheat spike size is determined early in the plant’s development, so keeping leaves free of tan spot early will keep yield potential high.


For additional information, contact Grant Mehring, Wheat Technical Product Manager, Northern Region, at 701-373-1591, or grant.mehring@bayer.com.