Foliar plant diseases have been a major obstacle to stabilizing wheat yields in Northeast Texas. Leaf rust, stripe rust and glume blotch can cause devastating losses across the region some years. Plant breeding has been the preferred tactic to manage leaf and stripe rust, but glume blotch resistance is not a primary goal of plant breeders. Genetically-bred leaf and stripe rust resistance is not a permanent fix as new strains of rust develop in 3 to 5 years and often overcome this initial resistance.

Wheat producers are challenged to employ a number of strategies to manage these foliar diseases, including a combination of genetic, cultural, and chemical approaches. Farmers do have production practices to minimize the impact of plant diseases and to stabilize wheat production across the region.

The process begins with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that combines genetic, cultural, biological, and chemical techniques to produce an economically and environmentally acceptable outcome. Adopting each of the following suggestions will improve the chances of success in managing foliar plant diseases. When all of these tactics are employed together, the odds of producing profitable and stable yields are greatly enhanced.