Flag Smut Survey To Be Conducted This Spring

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas wheat farmers should stay vigilant in scouting for wheat disease, especially flag smut, which was detected in Kansas in 2015 for the first time since the 1930s, although it was only found in low levels in a small portion of the wheat crop. The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), in coordination with the Kansas State University (KSU) Department of Plant Pathology, will be conducting a targeted flag smut survey throughout May and June in several counties within the state.

KDA will be surveying areas which showed previous signs of infestation to determine whether producers implemented best management practices to control the disease. Preliminary surveys conducted so far in 2016 have indicated that flag smut is present again this season, but it is not yet known to what extent. This survey will better determine the spread of the disease. The survey will cover the following counties: Stafford, Pratt, Kiowa, Edwards, Pawnee, Barton, Rush, Lincoln, Russell, Dickinson, Ottawa, Ellis, Trego, Graham, Rooks, Phillips, Smith, Ness, Wichita, Scott, and Decatur Counties.

Flag smut presents no human or animal health concern and has no impact on grain quality. It can have a negative impact on wheat yield, the severity of which is determined by the infestation level of the field.

KDA is working with KSU Research and Extension to continue to share flag smut best management practices through normal outreach activities, including online resources, newsletters and discussion at field days. KDA is committed to serving farmers and protecting plant health in order to ensure the continued strength of the agriculture industry in Kansas.

For more information about flag smut, go to the KDA website at www.agriculture.ks.gov/ppws. If you have questions about this year’s survey, please contact Jeff Vogel, manager of the KDA Plant Protection and Weed Control program, at [email protected], or 785-564-6699.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 70 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing.