Small Grains Disease Updates

Alyssa Koehler, Extension Field Crops Pathologist;

For those that I have not met yet, my name is Alyssa Koehler and I am the new field crops Extension plant pathologist with the University of Delaware. I am located at the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown and my email is

As temperatures warm up through March, begin to scout your field at least weekly to monitor for small grain diseases. Once temperatures are above 58-60 °F for 1-2 weeks, you may begin to see powdery mildew. Nitrogen applications offer a good time to check the field for these grey patches or “white fuzz” on leaves. In cases where you have high levels of foliar disease present, a fungicide application can be made at flag leaf, but remember that fungicides applied at this timing will not provide control for management of Fusarium Head Blight and DON levels. Fungicides for FHB are most effective when applied during flowering. In the next issue of WCU we will go over detailed management strategies for FHB. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions as the season begins.