The Wheat Research Area Committee (RAC), which is comprised of 7 scientists and leadership from the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), represents both Spring and Winter Wheat interests. A focus of the Wheat RAC is rust research in its three forms: stem, stripe and leaf. The Wheat RAC established objectives for 2020 – 2021 research efforts for the National Predictive Modeling Tool Initiative (NPMTI), as follows:

  • Objective 1. Develop a database of historical disease epidemics in the U.S that will serve as a foundation for the modeling effort.
  • Objective 2a. Quantify associations among pathogen inoculum density, disease development, and weather variables in small plot trials.
  • Objective 2b. Quantify associations among airborne inoculum concentration on onset, development, and spread of leaf, stripe and stem rust in small plot trials.
  • Objective 3. Quantify associations between pathogen inoculum, disease development and weather variables in commercial fields.

Researchers listed below are participating in support of the Wheat RAC objectives. As noted, it is a collaborative effort among the researchers.

Mary Burrows, PhD – Professor, Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology, Extension Plant Pathology Specialist, Montana State University

Dr. Burrows’ specialty area: epidemiology of field crop diseases caused by fungi and viruses, with a focus on wheat and pulse crops.

Dr. Burrows will support the Wheat RAC as follows:

1) Work with Drs. Paul and DeWolf to collate and analyze data in response to Objective 1.

2) Participate in Objective 2 by establishing a residue trial with three levels and four varieties of winter wheat.

3) Participate in Objective 3 by establishing spore samplers at winter wheat breeding plots at research centers.

Emmanuel Byamukama, PhD – Associate Professor & Extension Plant Pathologist, South Dakota State University

Dr. Byamukama’s specialty area: provide research-based information to aid growers make informed plant disease management decisions.

Dr. Byamukama will support the Wheat RAC as follows:

1) Provide Drs. DeWolf and Paul wheat diseases severities for the past 12-15 years (Objective 1).

2) Establish small-plot trials to investigate association between in-field crop residue, inoculum density (based on residue and air samples), and disease development (Objective 2).

3) Select 20 spring wheat production fields – stratified by 4 distinct production regions – central, north east, south central (Objective 3).

Erick DeWolf, PhD – Professor, Plant Pathology & Extension Specialist, Kansas State University

Dr. DeWolf’s specialty area: Diseases of wheat, small grains, and forages diseases of wheat, small grains and forages. Diseases of wheat, small grains, and forages. Diseases of wheat, small grains, and forages.

Dr. DeWolf is co-chair of the Wheat Research Area Committee.

Dr. DeWolf will support the Wheat RAC as follows:

1) Organize historical records of disease epidemics in Kansas and develop preliminary empirical models of disease risk (Objective 1). Aggregate the data of other Wheat RAC researchers.

2) Establish a small-plot experiment to investigate the relationship of pathogen inoculum and weather with disease development (Objective 2).

3) Verify the relationships between inoculum, weather and disease in commercial fields (Objective 3).

Cecilia Monclova, PhD – Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Lubbock.

Dr. Monclova’s specialty area: plant pathology and a focus on diseases in cotton, wheat, peanuts and other crops.

Dr. Monclova also participates on the Cotton Research Area Committee.

Dr. Monclova will support the Wheat RAC as follows:

1) Multiple consultations and publication research will be done in collaboration with agronomist, research pathologist at Lubbock and Amarillo area to fulfill Objective 1.

2) The experiments of Objective 2a and 2b will be established at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Lubbock, TX.

3) In collaboration with the small grains agronomist, Dr. Calvin Trostle, 3 commercial farms had been identified to fulfill Objective 3.

Tim Murray, PhD – Professor and Chair, Department of Plant Pathology, and Extension Plant Pathologist, Washington State University

Dr. Murray’s specialty area: the ecology, epidemiology, and control of diseases of wheat caused by soilborne fungi.

Dr. Murray will support the Wheat RAC as follows:

1) Historical data on stripe rust severity exists for the past 30 years in the Inland PNW. This information will be summarized, along with historical weather data, to address objective 1.

2) Install Burkard multi-vial air samplers at 10 locations/year considered epidemiologically relevant to quantify inoculum of the stripe rust pathogen during the course of the winter wheat growing season to address objective 3.

Pierce Paul, see Corn Research Area Committee for details on Dr. Paul.

                Dr. Paul is on both the Corn and the Wheat RAC.

Dr. Paul will support the Wheat RAC as follows:

1) The small plot experiments described in Objectives 1 and 2 will be established at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Snyder Farm (near Wooster, OH).

2) County Extension Agents, OSU Agronomist, and the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association will be consulted to select the 15 production fields for the experiment described under Objective 3.