By MATTHEW WEAVER
Western Oregon wheat farmers are being advised to scout their fields for stripe rust.
Mike Flowers, cereals extension specialist for Oregon State University, reported a photo showing classic early season stripe rust symptoms has been submitted to researchers in the university's plant clinic.
The field is in the McMinnville area of the Willamette Valley, Flowers said.
He recommends growers and crop consultants scout their fields, and treat them as necessary.
Flowers said it's been typical for signs of stripe rust to occur in Western Oregon during the last three years.
It's not yet certain how much acreage is affected, Flowers said.
"Most of Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington and Idaho, this probably not going to be a concern," he said. "But in Western Washington and Western Oregon, this is a concern."
Farmers need to think about whether they want to include fungicide with their herbicide to take care of early-season disease pressure.
Flowers had hoped delayed planting and a dry fall would prevent stripe rust from carrying over from the previous year.
"I was hoping we might avoid some of the very early season, so I'm a little disappointed we saw it this early, but I certainly expected to see rust in the fields," he said.
The field in question was planted to the OSU soft white winter wheat variety Goetze, which has proven highly susceptible, particularly to early-season stripe rust, Flowers said. Goetze is likely the top variety planted in the area.
Other susceptible varieties include Tubbs 06 and Xerpha, he said, and a fungicide is recommended, combined with herbicide.
Growers should look for rust pustules or yellow striping in their fields.
Flowers expected to continue updates as more information becomes available.
"Our goal here is to let people know we're starting to see these things," he said. "We're just trying to catch it early and stay on top of it, so it doesn't get ahead of us."