Stripe Rust Identified in Panhandle Wheat

Stripe Rust Identified in Panhandle Wheat

Striped rust in wheat
Figure 1. Stripe rust was confirmed at a minor level in wheat brought into the author's lab at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff Tuesday. Shown is stripe rust in a Panhandle field in 2016. (Photo by Bob Harveson)

On Tuesday morning, April 18, I received wheat samples with symptoms consistent with stripe rust. Small yellowish pustules arranged in linear stripes parallel with the veins were observed on leaves in the lower part of the canopy of several plants.  The infections occurred on only a few leaves and pustules were very small and difficult to see.  

It is not a serious problem at this time, but producers should be aware. The plants were from a field in Sheridan County north of Rushville, which strongly implies that the pathogen overwintered at this location in a crop planted in fall 2016. I also received reports from reliable resources who observed it today in Box Butte County near Alliance. This suggests that the pathogen survived over the winter in other fields as well, which will potentially result in additional early infections and economic losses.

We are not recommending spraying fungicides at this point, but it would be a good idea to survey and closely monitor fields right now to determine further incidence and distribution of the disease.

Please feel free to contact me with any additional reports of this disease in western Nebraska at (308) 631-5953 or

To report suspected stripe rust in other areas, please contact Stephen Wegulo, extension plant pathologist, at or 402-472-8735.

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