Wheat field in Saline County April 28, 2016
Figure 1. A healthy-looking wheat field in Saline County on April 28. Recent rains boosted wheat growth, but created conditions favorable for wheat disease. Growers are encouraged to scout and treat if necessary to protect the flag leaf. (Photos by Stephen Wegulo)

Conditions Favorable to Disease Growth in Wheat

April 29, 2016

Wheat field surveys in southeast and south central Nebraska (Lancaster, Saunders, Saline, Filmore, Thayer, Nuckolls, Webster, and Clay counties) on April 27-28 found little disease in growers’ fields.  The wheat crop looked healthy and was growing vigorously (Figure 1) thanks to the recent rains.

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stripe rust on wheat
Figure 2. Stripe rust on the upper leaves in a research plot at the ARDC on April 21

After Rains, Some Wheat Diseases Increasing

April 22, 2016
Following rains across much of the state last week, wheat diseases appear to be increasing, based on field surveys this week. Reported diseases include powdery mildew, stripe rust, and leaf spot.

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Bowl of white noodles
Advancements in a new line of hard white wheat make it possible to develop white whole grain products that are more popular in the marketplace. The USDA research effort was led by Robert Graybosch, plant geneticist and research leader of the ARS Grain, Forage, and Bioenergy Research Unit in Lincoln.

ARS Lincoln Research Leads to Whiter Wheat

April 20, 2016

Getting rid of gray discoloring in foods such as fresh noodles, breads, and refrigerated biscuits is now possible, thanks to a new white hard wheat breeding line developed by USDA scientists in Lincoln.

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Photos of 3 wheat fields: with stripe rust, leaf rust, and healthy
(From left) Figure 1. A hot spot of stripe rust in a research plot at the ARDC near Mead on April 14. Figure 2. Leaf rust in a research plot at the ARDC near Mead on April 14. Figure 3. A healthy wheat field in Thayer County on April 13. (Figures 1-8 by Stephen Wegulo)

Stripe Rust & Aphids Confirmed in Nebraska Wheat

April 15, 2016
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.

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Wheat Condition and Soil Moisture Reports

April 8, 2016

This week the National Drought Monitor rated almost 25% of Nebraska as "abnormally dry," a major change from 0% since Jan. 1. Most of the affected area was along the southern tier of Nebraska counties.

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Nebraska Wheat Condition 60% Good-Excellent

April 5, 2016

For the week ending April 3 temperatures varied widely across Nebraska, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Parts of the Panhandle experienced below normal temperatures, while large portions of eastern Nebraska experienced temperatures up to five degrees above normal.

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Freeze Damage to Western Nebraska Wheat Mostly Cosmetic

April 1, 2016
Snow-covered wheat field at UNL's HPAL 3/31/2016
Figure 1. Snow-covered wheat near Sidney is not expected to sustain yield-losing freeze damage as the growing point is still below the soil surface. (Photos by Travis Orrell)

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Wheat Leaf Rust Confirmed in Nebraska

March 31, 2016
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.

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