Flag smut (wheat)

Urocystis agropyri

Flag smut (wheat)

First described in Australia in 1868, flag smut is known to reduce wheat yield by an average of 1 per cent annually. In most areas, the disease is not significant as resistant varieties, crop rotations and seed treatments are used. However, in the northern Western Australian wheatbelt, flag smut is a significant disease and can reduce yield by 10-15 per cent. It is found more commonly on lighter soils, and where susceptible varieties are grown.

Life cycle

Flag smut attacks the leaves and stems of wheat plants. The fungus produces grey-black lines of spores that run parallel to the leaf veins. Infected plants are often stunted and the flag leaf twisted. The head, if produced, is often small and contains screenings. At harvest, spores on infected leaves and straw are spread onto the grain and soil surface. If sown, infected seed will produce infected plants. If uninfected seed is exposed to flag smut spores in the soil after sowing, infected plants will be produced. Therefore flag smut has both a soil and seed borne phase.

Control

  • Flag smut is effectively controlled by many seed treatments (Foliarflo-C, Quantum Pro, Vitaflo C, Vitavax 200FF, Rancona C, Rancona Dimension)
  • Do not sow seed infected with flag smut
  • Only sow disease free seed
  • Sow resistant varieties of wheat

Recommended products

Foliarflo-C

Foliarflo-C® provides foliar disease protection in barley and also controls a wide range of diseases in other crops. Great colour, great coverage and ultimately greater protection.

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Quantum Pro

Quantum Pro provides all-round disease protection in wheat and is of particular benefit where take-all is a problem. It also controls blackleg in canola.

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Rancona C

Rancona® C delivers protection against smuts and bunt in wheat, barley and oats whilst providing control of stored grain insects, in an easy to use micro-emulsion formulation.

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Rancona Dimension

Rancona® Dimension brings a new dimension in cereal seed treatments. The registration now includes suppression of crown rot in wheat and barley, as well as suppression of rhizoctonia and control of pythium, smuts and bunt.

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Vitaflo C

Vitaflo C protects against smuts and bunt, increases yield potential and improves emergence with stronger, healthier seedlings.

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Vitavax 200FF

The world's leading seed treatment, providing effective control of common seed and seedling diseases in wheat, barley, oats and triticale.

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