Author Archives: Hillary Mehl

New Crop Disease Management Resources

Though it has been around for several years, the Crop Protection Network (CPN) has recently added several publications on disease management in corn, soybean, and small grains that are relevant to growers, crop consultants, and extension personnel in Virginia and the surrounding region. These can be accessed at the CPN website cropprotectionnetwork.org. As stated on the website:

“The Crop Protection Network (CPN) is a multi-state and international partnership of university and provincial Extension specialists, and public and private professionals that provides unbiased, research-based information. Our goal is to communicate relevant information to farmers and agricultural personnel to help with decisions related to protecting field crops.

Extension specialists throughout the country (including myself) contribute to the publications and other resources posted on the website. An example of a recent publication on optimizing fungicide use for control of Fusarium head blight can be downloaded below. The CPN library includes over 30 publications on crop management, and additional publications are in development.

CPN-3001-Optimizing Fungicide Use for FHB

Wheat Disease Update – May 24, 2018

Fusarium head blight (FHB) risk for Virginia continues to be to high throughout the state due to recent wet, warm weather (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/). Most of the wheat is past the flowering stage and no longer at risk, but later flowering wheat may still need a fungicide application. Triazole fungicides including Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline are recommended. Do not apply fungicides containing a strobilurin since this can increase DON. For wheat that is past flowering, a fungicide application will not reduce FHB or DON contamination of the grain. Grain harvested from fields with signs and symptoms of FHB should be kept separate from non-infested grain.

For assistance with disease identification or management recommendations, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl, Extension Plant Pathologist (hlmehl@vt.edu).

Wheat Disease Update – May 15, 2018

Three-day forecast for Fusarium head blight (FHB) risk on susceptible wheat varieties.

FHB risk is increasing in Virginia and will continue to increase over the next several days. Risk is highest on the Eastern Shore, but susceptible varieties such as Shirley that are flowering over the next week will be at moderate to high risk in many portions of the state. Growers should monitor the FHB risk tool (www.wheatscab.psu.edu) as their wheat crop begins to flower. Consider applying a fungicide if risk is moderate to high, especially on susceptible or moderately susceptible varieties. Wheat that has completed flowering is no longer at risk. Fungicides should be applied at early flowering or up to one week later. Do not apply a strobilurin-containing fungicide since this can increase DON contamination. Recommended fungicides include Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline.

Steve Rideout, Extension Plant Pathologist at the Eastern Shore AREC, confirmed stripe rust on research plots of Shirley on Monday. FHB risk continues to be high on the Eastern Shore, so growers in this part of the state with varieties that are susceptible to stripe rust should consider an application of Prosaro, Caramba, or Proline since these will control both FHB and rust.

Stripe rust on wheat.

For assistance with disease identification or management recommendations, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl, Extension Plant Pathologist (hlmehl@vt.edu).

 

Wheat Disease Update – April 30, 2018

As wheat starts flowering in the region, it is time to consider whether or not to make a fungicide application for Fusarium head blight (FHB). Currently, risk is low in most parts of Virginia. There are a few exceptions, including portions of the Eastern Shore, where risk is moderate to high.

The most effective fungicides for control of FHB and DON are Caramba (metconazole), Prosaro (prothioconazole + tebuconazole), and Proline (prothioconazole). Less expensive triazoles such as Tilt (propiconazole) and Folicur (tebuconazole) will provide some control, but if FHB risk is high these fungicides are unlikely to prevent unacceptable levels of DON contamination. Keep in mind that fungicides containing a strobilurin should not be applied after the flag leaf stage since they can increase DON contamination.

Current FHB risk in Virginia and the surrounding region. Green, yellow, and red indicate low, moderate, and high risk, respectively. FHB risk can be monitored using the Fusarium Risk Assessment Tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/).

To maximize their effectiveness, fungicides for FHB and DON control should be applied at early flowering or up to one week later. Fungicides that control FHB and DON will also control foliar diseases including powdery mildew, leaf rust, stripe rust, and leaf blotch. Stripe rust has been found in NC and was recently reported from a single field in Warsaw, VA so be sure to scout susceptible varieties for this disease. For specific wheat disease management recommendations or assistance with disease identification, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl (hlmehl@vt.edu).

 

Peanut-Cotton Infonet Update

The Peanut-Cotton Infonet is up and running for the 2018 growing season. As in previous years, the website will provide:

  • Maximum, minimum, and average air temperatures
  • Average soil temperature at a 4 inch depth
  • Daily and accumulated (from May 1) peanut heat units
  • Daily and accumulated (from May 1) cotton degree-days
  • Daily and total seasonal (from May 1) rainfall
  • Last effective spray date for peanut leaf spot
  • Sclerotinia blight risk
  • Frost advisory (from September 25th to completion of harvest)

The web address has changed slightly and the website can be found here.

Soil temperatures in southeastern Virginia have been cool over the past couple of weeks (average less than 60 °F), and cool, wet conditions in some fields will favor seedling diseases in early planted crops. A warming trend over the next week will hopefully result in more favorable planting conditions towards the beginning of May.

For questions or concerns regarding the Peanut-Cotton Infonet throughout the growing season, contact Dr. Hillary Mehl (hlmehl@vt.edu).

Wheat Disease Update – April 19, 2018

Currently the wheat crop in Virginia is near flag leaf emergence, and flowering will start within a couple of weeks. As flowering begins, be sure to monitor the FHB risk in your area using the Fusarium Head Blight Prediction Center website. Currently, most of Virginia has low risk for FHB infection. The exception is the Eastern Shore where risk is moderate to high in many areas, especially on susceptible varieties such as Shirley. Powdery mildew outbreaks have been observed in some fields this season, and incidence of common rust has been sporadic. Stripe rust has been found in North Carolina, but it has not been reported from Virginia. The 2018 Wheat Fungicide Efficacy Table can be downloaded below. Once wheat approaches the heading stage, keep in mind that strobilurin fungicides should no longer be applied. For specific wheat disease management recommendations or assistance with disease identification, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl (hlmehl@vt.edu).

2018 NCERA 184 Wheat Fungicide Table

Wheat Disease Update – April 12, 2018

Currently the wheat crop is in the jointing stages, and we are several weeks away from flowering. Currently the Fusarium head blight (FHB) risk is low for most areas of the state except for the Eastern Shore. These conditions may change as the wheat crop approaches flowering, so be sure to continue monitoring the FHB risk tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/). Moderate to severe outbreaks of powdery mildew have been reported from several fields in the past week. Be sure to scout wheat fields at this time and apply fungicide when disease is first detected. The updated Wheat Fungicide Efficacy Table can be downloaded below. For specific wheat disease management recommendations or assistance with disease identification, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl (hlmehl@vt.edu).

 

NCERA 184 Wheat fungicide table 2017_Final

Wheat Disease Update – May 2, 2017

Following last week’s rain, the risk for Fusarium head blight (FHB or scab) infections has increased, and the risk is very high even for moderately resistant varieties in certain portions of the state (see FHB Risk Map). Much of the wheat crop is beyond the early flowering stage, but for fields where wheat is currently flowering a fungicide may be needed to protect the crop from FHB infection and DON contamination. Recommended fungicides include Caramba, Prosaro, and Proline. Fungicides are most effective when applied at the start of flowering and up to a week later. The greatest coverage of the heads can be achieved by applying fungicides in 5 gal/A by air and 15 gal/A by ground with a 300-350 um droplet size and nozzles angled forward at least 30 degrees.

FHB risk on May 2, 2017 for moderately resistant wheat varieties. Susceptible wheat varieties that are currently flowering are at high risk for FHB infection throughout Virginia.

Wheat Disease Update – April 20, 2017

Wheat is beginning to flower throughout Virginia, so it is time to make decisions about fungicide applications for both Fusarium head blight (FHB, also known as scab) and to protect the flag leaf as the grains begin to form. Currently, the risk for FHB is low in most parts of Virginia, even for susceptible varieties. The FHB Risk Assessment Tool can be found at http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu. Keep in mind that this is a prediction tool and it will not predict FHB outbreaks 100% of the time. A current screen shot of the website is shown below. Rains are expected over the weekend, but dry weather over the past several weeks has not favored spore production by the FHB fungus, so risk of FHB infection is expected to remain low for wheat that is flowering over the next week. However, now may still be the time to apply fungicides for foliar diseases including stripe rust, powdery mildew, and leaf blotch. The flag leaf must be protected during grain development to maximize yields. Again, due to the dry weather some areas have very little disease, and scouting is still recommended prior to making a fungicide application. However, there have been numerous reports throughout the region of outbreaks of stripe rust (especially on Shirley) and powdery mildew. Do NOT apply a strobilurin or fungicide pre-mix containing a strobilurin after flag leaf emergence (Feekes 9) since this can increase DON contamination in the grain. Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline are the most effective products for reducing scab and DON contamination, and these fungicides will also control foliar diseases such as leaf blotch, stripe and leaf rust, and powdery mildew. A fungicide efficacy table for wheat can be found in a previous post.

Screen shots from the Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu) on April 20, 2017. Currently, risk of FHB infection in wheat that is flowering is low in most parts of Virginia. The exception is along the Eastern Shore where conditions are typically more humid and favorable for spore production by the FHB fungus. For susceptible varieties such as Shirley, FHB risk is moderate to high in some areas. However, for moderately resistant varieties such as Hilliard, the risk is currently low. This illustrates the importance of variety selection in management of FHB and DON contamination in wheat.  

Wheat Disease Identification Guide

Copies of a Wheat Disease Identification Guide from Kansas State are now available and can be requested from Dr. Hillary Mehl at the Tidewater AREC (hlmehl@vt.edu). A PDF version of the guide can be downloaded here. Though not specific to Virginia, many of the diseases included in the guide occur in our region and detailed descriptions of symptoms and management recommendations are included. As always, if confirmation of a disease is needed for wheat or other agronomic crops, plant samples can be submitted to the Virginia Tech Tidewater AREC (6321 Holland Rd. Suffolk, VA 23437). When submitting samples, be sure to fill out the Plant Disease Diagnostic Form with as much information as possible as this will assist us with an accurate diagnosis. The form can be downloaded here: Plant Disease Diagnostic Form