Stripe rust (Figure 1) was diagnosed by the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the UK Research and Education Center (Princeton, KY) this week in a wheat sample that came from Lyon County. In addition, leaf rust (Figure 2) of wheat has been observed in states south of Kentucky (Arkansas and Mississippi), and appears to be moving northward.
Some wheat varieties have high levels of resistance to these diseases; therefore, it is important to know the susceptibility of the varieties planted. Resistant varieties likely will not require any additional management for rust disease control; however, a foliar fungicide application may need to be considered for susceptible varieties.
The 2016 multi-state university foliar fungicide efficacy table for wheat diseases can be found here: NCERA 184 Wheat fungicide table 2016
If leaf or stripe rust is detected in Kentucky, please contact your local county agent so that we can continue to track the spread of these rust diseases across the U.S.
By Carl A. Bradley, Extension Plant Pathologist