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Extension director issues stripe rust alert for wheat growers

Natalie Wayne, Extension director for Hyde and Tyrrell counties, issued a stripe rust alert to wheat growers April 26.

Stripe rust has appeared in central North Carolina. And it was found in mid-April in two neighboring wheat fields in Greene County.

A stripe rust epidemic can develop much quicker than a leaf rust epidemic; warn Dr. Christina Cowger and Dr. Angela Post at North Carolina State University.

If scouting reveals stripe rust in a field a fungicide should be applied as soon as possible to preserve yield, they advise.

Wheat varieties rated susceptible and moderately susceptible should be scouted immediately.

Resistant or moderately resistant varieties are at low risk for stripe rust.

Apply fungicides to fields containing multiple stripe rust foci first before moving on to fields with less noticeable infections, Cowger and Post suggest.

When choosing a fungicide pay close attention to harvest restrictions on the label. Several fungicides have a 30-day pre-harvest restriction so use caution when applying to fields nearing harvest, they stated.

Another provides excellent protection against stripe rust; however, this fungicide has a 45-day pre-harvest restriction and should only be applied to varieties that are still in boot and not yet heading.

Stripe rust, also known as yellow rust, caused by a fungus, from time to time has devastated cereal production worldwide due to rapid systemic infection of affected plants resulting in defoliation and shrived kernels.