This year late-season hailstorms led to increases in volunteer wheat that emerged shortly before wheat harvest. If left uncontrolled until wheat emergence in the fall, growers can expect a large buildup of mites and virus, leading to yield-robbing disease outbreaks next spring and summer.
Four videos illustrate the spread of wheat curl mites among neighboring wheat fields and the importance of controlling these mites to curtail the development of three key viruses of winter wheat in Nebraska.
For wheat growers, one aspect of being a good neighbor is controlling volunteer wheat after harvest to stop wheat curl mites from moving into the new crop of wheat and transmitting viruses, particularly wheat streak mosaic virus. Volunteer wheat should be controlled in time to provide a two-week break in the green bridge.
A survey of wheat fields in the Nebraska Panhandle found only trace levels of stripe rust and low levels of tan spot, but widespread areas of wheat streak mosaic virus with severity ranging from mild to severe.