Heavy snow and cold means diseases for wheat growers

May 31st, 2017 | By | Category: Agriculture
A combine sits in a field off Highway 91 waiting for the rain to stop so harvest can resume. Untimely rains this summer have delayed harvest, and in some cases damaged wheat, hay and barley crops in Eastern Idaho.    DOUG LINDLEY/ IDAHO STATE JOURNAL

A combine sits in a field off Highway 91 waiting for the rain to stop so harvest can resume. 
DOUG LINDLEY/ IDAHO STATE JOURNAL

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wheat farmers, like their counterparts in Washington and Idaho, are using additional fungicide treatments to stave off stripe rust this year.

Capital Press reports (https://is.gd/SZ7OUA ) that a heavier than normal snowfall and extended periods of cold and rain resulted in conditions ideal for diseases.

Christina Hagerty, with Oregon State University, says the season is shaping up to have higher than average stripe rust infections.

The conditions also mean more snow mold.

The situation is part of a conundrum faced by North Central and Eastern Oregon’s dryland wheat producers in particular.

Hagerty says the conditions that lead to strong, healthy plants often can result in healthy pathogens.

Snow mold is more of a problem in colder areas like Eastern Washington. It forms when snow falls on wet ground and keeps it cold for extended periods.

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Information from: Capital Press, http://www.capitalpress.com/washington

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