Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 96
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96 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 19 5 3
Leaf rust of wheat
Basic information on the reaction of different wheat varieties to the
various races of leaf rust is being obtained at the Kansas and Oklahoma
stations that will enable plant breeders to avoid parent strains having
undesirable susceptibility. For example, in 1952 Oklahoma plant
pathologists found two new biotypes of leaf rust race 105 which attack
varieties whose ancestry include Hard Federation, commonly used in
wheat breeding. Field surveys have shown that there is a definite
relationship between an increased acreage of a variety and the number
of rust races to which it is susceptible. For example, recent extensive
planting of Triumph has resulted in an increase in rust race 15, to
which Triumph seems especially susceptible in the field.
Promising fungicides for rust control
For many years the only practical methods advocated for the control
of stem rust have been the breeding of highly rust-resistant varieties
and the elimination of the rust-spreading barberry. Now, however, it
is hoped that some of the new fungicides that are being developed for
the control of plant diseases, may provide an effective medium for
reducing rust losses. Rust-preventing fungicides would be highly desirable
in emergencies when there would not be time to develop the
resistant varieties or to eliminate the rust-spreading barberry.
The Wisconsin station found that certain naphthoquinones and
phenols have shown fungicidal value at low concentrations. The
germination of urediospores of the stem rust fungus was prevented
at concentrations as low as 2 p. p. m. Spray applications made prior
to infection, in which the fungicide was used with a spreader and
stabilizer, resulted in 90 to 100 percent rust control for several compounds
studied. Ethyl-alcohol solutions of technical 2,3-dichloro1,4-naphthoquinone
(Phygon) with a stabilizer appears to be the most
economical compound presently available.
Calcium sulfamate and Actidione promise to become effective systemic
fungicides for the control of stem and leaf rust in wheat, according
to research under way at the Nebraska station. These chemicals
were found suitable for aerial application at volume rates as low as
5 gallons per acre. They proved effective in stopping development of
the rusts even after infection had occurred. Although calcium sulfamate
and Actidione induced physiological changes in the plant, so far
they have not been found to be detrimental.
Smut increases in Northwest
According to an Idaho station report covered smut of wheat is on
the increase in the Pacific Northwest in spite of the combined efforts
of growers and experiment station and extension workers to combat
it. The survey showed that 27.8 percent of the total crop of 88 million
bushels of wheat graded smutty-an increase of 3.9 percent over
the 1951 figure of 23.9 percent. The estimated regional loss caused
by smut in 1952 was over 6 million dollars. One of the reasons given
for the increase in smut is that new races of the smut fungus arise
that are able to attack varieties formerly considered resistant.
The Washington station (coop. USDA) has shown ways whereby
these new smut races are produced. It demonstrated for the first
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/98/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.