Menu

Choose Your Cultivar Carefully for Effective Disease Management

Winter wheat planting is just around the corner and may have already begun in some areas west of the Missouri river. One of the most cost effective and sustainable disease management practices is careful selection of the cultivar to be planted. Cultivar selection can make a large difference in profit margins, even when all other management practices are performed correctly.

Consider your farm’s needs
Cultivars will respond to inputs and stresses differently. The initial step in deciding which cultivar to plant is to look at your farm needs, your field history, and conditions at planting. For instance, are you planting wheat on wheat, or wheat on wheat fallow? In this case, selecting a cultivar with good leaf disease tolerance would be advisable. If you are in an environment that gets moderate levels of moisture, selecting a cultivar with resistance/tolerance to scab is recommended.

There are diseases, such as leaf, stem, or stripe rusts, which appear nearly every season but do not overwinter in South Dakota. Their severity will depend on the time of arrival, the weather conditions, and the susceptibility of the cultivar planted. For these types of diseases, it is better to plan that they will appear, rather that to hope that they do not.

Crop performance testing: a useful tool
Although there is little information published on wheat cultivar disease ratings, producers ought to keep records of cultivar performance for future decisions. The SDSU Crop Performance Testing (CPT) publishes winter wheat yield, protein, and test weight information along with some disease ratings. The CPT trials are carried out across the state and producers can choose data from a nearby location to decide on which cultivar best suits their environment. For more information, view the 2015 Winter Wheat Variety Trial Results.

Unlike some traits in corn and soybean, such as herbicide resistance, that cost extra, the cost of winter wheat seed that has disease resistance/tolerance is the same as for seed without resistance/tolerance. So why not take an advantage of this and choose a cultivar that is both high-yielding and tolerant to diseases?

Other considerations
Other practices to consider at planting that influence disease development are crop rotation (for reduced source of inoculum), time of planting (delay planting if the area is known to have wheat streak mosaic virus outbreaks) and fungicide seed treatment (for fields with a history of root and crown rots).

Source: Emmanuel Byamukama, South Dakota State University 

Recent News

USDA to Extend Flexibility on Crop Insurance Program
11/15/2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced it will continue to defer accrual of interest for 2019 crop year insurance premiums to help the wide swath of farmers and ranchers affected by extreme weather in 2019. Specifically, USDA will defer the accrual of interest on 2019 crop year insurance premiums […]

The Conservation Question, Part 4-An Overview of Acres
11/15/2019

Throughout its history, conservation policy can be understood, in part, as representing attempts at achieving balance.  Policies have involved balancing the demands for producing crops with the limits of, and impacts on, natural resources; they have also tried to achieve different balances within production and among crops and land uses.  This article continues the discussion […]

Cost and Returns from Different Nitrogen Application Timing in Illinois
11/13/2019

Overall returns on Illinois grain farms are projected to be much lower in 2019 than recent years, resulting in more consumer about managing input costs. Fertilizer, seed, and pesticide costs represent a large portion of the total cost of producing corn, with fertilizer costs historically larger than seed and pesticide per-acre costs on high-productivity farmland […]

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now