Above normal temperatures in the mid-central US over this past winter have resulted in the early appearance of leaf and stripe rust in cereal crops. In a typical year rust is usually carried in from Mexico with south winds, working it’s way north as the season progresses. Some reports are suggesting that rust may have overwintered as far north as Nebraska with the milder weather.

With the early appearance of rust in the south, it will be important to scout for rust early in our cereal crops. Moisture along with cool to moderate temperatures (and south winds) favour the spread of rust. Also consider the variety you are growing. There are a number of current cereals varieties being grown in the Red River Valley with a susceptible rating for stripe rust. Current management practices to combat rust include seeding varieties with a high tolerance and the early application of a registered fungicide.

Here is an excellent resource on stripe rust in Manitoba: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/plant-diseases/print,stripe-rust-puccina-pathway.html

The USDA Cereal Rust Bulletins are an excellent resource for those wanting to track the spread of rust as it moves north: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=9757

April 6th, 2016, 5:00pm: Hot off the Press, stripe rust is now being found in central South Dakota on winter wheat…