Nebraska Wheat Field

 Disease Management

Diseases are a major cause of yield loss in winter wheat. Environmental conditions in Nebraska vary considerably because elevation increases and rainfall decreases from east to west. In addition, approximately 5% of winter wheat production in the state occurs under irrigation. This variation in environmental conditions has a major influence on the prevalence and incidence of specific wheat diseases across the state.

See page links to the right for disease summaries and pictures located at Plant Disease Central. See below for additional links to NebGuides, NebFacts, and CropWatch articles.

If you are unsure of what disease your wheat may have, you may want to take a look at the Wheat Disease Profles I & II, which show pictures and describe common symtoms of various wheat diseases. The multi-state Extension publication "Wheat Disease Identification" (*PDF; 1.8 MB; 22 pages) is another excellent resource for identifying disease problems in wheat. Identifying Rust Diseases of Wheat and Barley (*PDF; 1.3 MB; 4 pages) is a multi-state Extension publication that can help you differentiate between these three rust diseases of wheat.

Residue Borne Diseases

Tan spot, Cephalosporium stripe, Fusarium head blight, take-all, and others

Root Diseases

Root, crown, and foot rots are common fungal diseases that affect overall plant health and lower yields

Foliar Diseases

Diseases such as leaf rust, stripe rust, tan spot, and glume blotch can result in serious economic losses in wheat.

Diseases Affecting the Head, Grain and Seed Quality

Diseases affecting wheat grain, such as black point, ergot, common bunt, loose smut, and scab, reduce yield, quality, or both.