If growers could control the weather, there wouldn’t be droughts, floods or tornadoes. Despite weather being a wild card each season, growers can proactively prepare for what mother nature can bring each season. Midseason is a critical time for wheat growth and is a time when weather can play a huge role for pest and disease pressure in wheat. While weather cannot be controlled, knowing how weather can hurt or help your crop is beneficial.
The Force of Mother Nature
Rain and wind are two issues growers should look out for.
- Too Much Rain can cause an increase in tan spot and rust. Heat, humidity and moisture are prime conditions for these diseases to flourish.
- Too Little Rain can create plant stress and stunt growth. With stress and stunted growth, wheat can still produce a good yield, but too little rain can bring out army worms and grasshoppers. While aphids are a constant problem, army worms and grasshoppers come out in dry conditions.
- Wind from the south, such as Kansas, can easily spread spores up to the northern Plains. These spores are from rust. Despite tan spot being a bigger issue than rust, rust can still damage your crop if it isn’t properly dealt with by a fungicide.
Spray and Scout
To be proactive, always:
- Spray fungicide when making your herbicide application to get ahead of disease. Spraying fungicide at flag leaf stage will allow your crop to be protected when key conditions, such as moisture and heat, for diseases occur midseason. Stratego® is an ideal fungicide to control tan spot and rust. Applying Prosaro® at early flowering will help improve grain quality and maximize yield with disease control.
- Scouting fields midseason is a critical way to catch and identify diseases and during important stages of plant life. After a lot of rain or after windy days, scouting will help keep a lookout for disease growth in wheat.
In a time where weather patterns aren’t consistent year after year, being a proactive grower will help overcome midseason issues such as pests and diseases. Good luck this season.