Thursday, November 17, 2011

Educational Seminar on Snow Mold Offered to Idaho Wheat Growers

Snow mold diseases of wheat are some of the most dramatic and devastating diseases of plants. In the Pacific Northwest, the snow molds are important in areas where snow falls on unfrozen or lightly frozen soil and persists for 100 days or more.

Snow mold diseases destroy the leaves and crowns of host grasses under snow. Following snowmelt, the leaves of plants with speckled snow mold are matted to the soils, and covered with a whitish gray fungal growth. Growing resistant varieties is the most effective and affordable control measure for snow mold.

The Idaho Wheat Commission will be presenting a web-based grower education seminar (webinar) to help educate Idaho wheat growers about Snow Mold diseases. The webinar will be approximately one hour. Participation is simple and free! Log onto the website at (requires Adobe Flash Player which is installed on most computers) and enter your name as a participant.

Tuesday, November 22, 9:00 a.m. MST – Guest Presenter Tim Murray, Professor Dept. of Plant Pathology, Washington State University will discuss the disease development of snow mold, symptoms of the disease and the best methods to control the disease. Dr. Murray will also answer questions during the webinar and provide information on disease resistant varieties.

The webinar will be recorded and made available at

Monday, November 14, 2011

USDA Identifies Step Rust Resistant Wheat Varieties

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has identified a number of stem rust-resistant wheat varieties and was retesting them to verify their resistance.

USDA scientists at the ARS Small Grains Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho screened more than 3,000 wheat landraces from the National Small Grains Collection against new races of the stem rust pathogen found in Kenyan wheat fields. Landraces with confirmed resistance were crossed with susceptible wheat to determine the genetic basis of the resistance.
The researchers’ goal was to find new genes for resistance to UG99, a rust strain that has the capacity to overcome many of the resistant genes used in the past 50 years. The work will help African growers now and will help suppress disease and reduce damage in developing countries, as well as prepare for the potential arrival of Ug99 in the United States.