Minimal disease issues for wheat

Disease pressure hasn’t been much of a challenge for Michigan wheat growers.

Michigan State University plant pathologist Marty Chilvers tells Brownfield the lack of rain has meant a mostly disease-free season.

“Across the state, there’s going be little pockets of powdery mildew—that’s a disease that does like dry conditions, but it likes a little bit of humidity and in some instances, we’re lacking some of that humidity as well,” he shares. “We’re pretty much through flowering now and because it was dry during flowering and pretty warm, we just didn’t see any risk of head scab.”

But he says there could still be quality issues ahead of harvest.

“There’s always going to be something that could pop up,” he warns. “If we do get moisture come through towards the end of the month, we may have molds that form on the heads and then timely harvest when possible might be really important for that.”

Chilvers spoke on disease issues as part of this week’s Michigan Wheat Program’s Summer Field Day.

The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday reported nearly three-fourths of the state is abnormally dry, with more than 40 percent in moderate drought.

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