While diseases are one of the three biggest yield-limiting factors of sunflower production, there was little information on how to identify and manage them until university plant pathologists joined in a collaborative effort to conduct research and develop educational resources.
As growers in western Nebraska look at new pulse crops to integrate into their rotations, a UNL plant pathologist works to identify possible disease threats. Cowpea (black-eyed pea) is being studied now.
Unusually early findings of rust in volunteer sunflower in western Nebraska indicate the potential for a major outbreak much earlier than usual. Growers are encouraged to scout within the first few weeks of emergence and treat where necessary.
Dry rot canker, one of several rhizoctonia diseaes of sugarbeet, has been relatively obscure since first being identified almost a century ago. New technologies, however, have helped to differentiate it from the more common Rhizoctonia root and crown rot disease.
With the predicted return to more normal temperatures, it's time to get into wheat fields and start scouting. Stripe rust has already been reported in southeastern Kansas and is expected to move northward. Included is a table of fungicide efficacy ratings for disease management in wheat.
Rainfall in spring and early summer 2017 was plentiful throughout western Nebraska, allowing good soil moisture for emerging crops, but also contributing to the development of plant diseases in multiple crops. This is an article from the Proceedings of the 2018 Nebraska Extension Crop Production Clinics.