By Erick De Wolf, Extension plant pathologist
Many wheat growers may be thinking about fungicide applications to control stripe rust and other leaf diseases this spring. Kansas State University Extension just released a publication that could help growers decide which products might a good fit for their needs.
The publication Foliar Fungicide Efficacy for Wheat Disease Management can be found at: http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/EP130.pdf
This publication presents the results of years for testing of these fungicide products in head-to-head comparisons from Kansas and many other states. The publication is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all available options but does cover most of the products widely marketed in the state.
In general, growers have access to many products that can provide very good to excellent control of stripe rust, leaf rust, and other common leaf diseases. There are some important differences with respect to control of Fusarium head blight (wheat scab). In this case, fungicides belonging to the triazole class of fungicides are the best option, with Prosaro and Caramba providing the best available suppression (only 40-50% control in many tests).
There are also significant differences in product price. With low wheat prices, it could be important for growers to do their homework before pulling the trigger on any possible fungicide application this year. Historically, the cost of fungicide products range from about $2 to $15 per acre, with generic tebuconazole (Folicur), and propiconazole (Tilt) products being the lowest-cost options.