By ROBERT S. MERRILL
For some wheat farmers in Franklin County, stripe rust reduced yields significantly this summer. Others didn’t see much impact from the fungal disease.
In other counties across eastern Idaho the problem ranged from moderate-to-severe. Dr. Juliet Marshall, small grains specialist with the University of Idaho, is advising all wheat farmers take several steps to lessen the potential impact next growing season.
“Stripe rust was severe enough in southern and southeast Idaho to reduce yields over 50 percent in untreated susceptible varieties! Even resistant varieties suffered some yield loss (five percent) as a result of the overwhelming bombardment of millions of fungal spores,” she said.
Stripe rust (yellow rust or glume rust) became a major disease on wheat in the late 1950s, according to Washington State University. Unusually cool, wet springs enhance early season spread. (See the full story in The Preston Citizen.)
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