University of Idaho Extension cereals pathologist Juliet Marshall has found no evidence yet of stripe rust in Eastern Idaho's winter wheat crop, which recently broke dormancy.
Marshall said the evidence corroborates her suspicions that stripe rust won't pose a significant problem this season.
"I've looked in our fields in the Aberdeen area, especially focusing on susceptible varieties, and I haven't seen anything," Marshall said, adding she'll soon scout fields in the Kimberly area. "I do not think it is going to be a bad year."
She advises treating susceptible varieties with a fungicide in a tank mix during herbicide spraying, nonetheless.
"I don't think we'll have the disease pressure, so it won't be an issue for resistant varieties at all," Marshall said.
In Washington, Xianming Chen, a USDA plant pathologist at the Pullman Agricultural Research Service, has also predicted stripe rust pressure will be much lower this season.
Stripe rust is a foliar fungal disease of wheat that appears as yellow, powdery pustules on leaves. It hinders plants at all stages of growth.
-- John O'Connell