Wheat disease surveys on April 8 and April 12-14 found stripe rust and leaf rust at trace to low levels in south central and southeast Nebraska and in the Panhandle. Given the locations of outbreaks in Banner County this spring are the same as when the disease was identified in seedlings last fall, the two rusts may have overwintered. See more reports and management recommendations.
On March 30, leaf rust was found in several wheat fields in Nuckolls County in south central Nebraska. Severity was trace (Figure 1), but the rust was found in every field surveyed. Presence of leaf rust in Nebraska this early in the growing season suggests it may have overwintered or is a result of unusually warm winter temperatures which resulted in earlier than normal movement of spores from southern states into our region.
The first appearance of stripe rust pustules in a field indicates that spores arrived in the field and initiated infections at least seven days earlier. Apply a fungicide if stripe rust is seen in a field and the following conditions or factors exist:
Wet, cool weather.
The flag leaf has emerged (or earlier depending on the situation).