Rusts enter southern Manitoba from U.S.

CNS Canada — While fusarium head blight and wheat streak mosaic have already popped up in Manitoba fields, a new strain of disease is making its presence felt in the province’s south.

Stripe rust and leaf rust appear to have blown in from the United States.

Pam de Rocquigny of Manitoba’s agriculture department said the two rust strains were observed at extremely low severity in MCVET winter wheat plots at Carman. Also, a patch of stripe rust was found in a winter wheat field southwest of Killarney.

“Stripe and leaf are just across the border from us, so I guess it was just a matter of time until we started to see those diseases appear here in Manitoba.”

Rust diseases are sporadic on a year-to-year basis, she said. Right now is an opportune time for them, though, as winter wheat is flowering and spring wheat is advancing at a steady rate.

“Some of it’s in the flag leaf, so we’re 10 days away from that crop heading out and starting to flower,” she said, adding farmers should definitely be scouting their cereal crops.

Fortunately, both strains of rust can be managed with fungicides and are still relatively scarce, according to de Rocquigny.

“I don’t think there’s a cause for real concern at this point.”

— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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