Spring has certainly looked like it has sprung! As we continue to warm up, new growth on winter wheat and spring wheat planting are not far away! I have been reading the cereal rust reports published by USDA, and it really sounds like there is a high potential for rust infections this year.
Leaf rust and stripe rust are reported already at Stillwater, OK, and I have heard unconfirmed reports of leaf rust as far north as Manhattan, KS, which means it possibly overwintered there. Stripe rust is making its way north slowly, and is already present in Arkansas , Oklahoma and western Colorado. The Colorado infection does not affect us, generally, but the Texas-Oklahoma-Kansas reports when we hear them do affect our potential, as inoculum rides rain storms north.
Be on a lookout for early season diseases as wheat begins to grow and be ready to recommend appropriate control measures.
If you are interested in keeping up to date on cereal rusts, go to the link below, or better yet, type in “Cereal Rust Reports” on a web browser. Once on the rust reports main page, you can find maps of current reports and can click near the top center of the page to a link to become part of a listserve and receive current ceral grain reports as they happen.