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Preventing and Protecting Against Wheat Blast
2024/3/19 16:03:49

Preventing and Protecting Against Wheat Blast

Wheat blast is one of the most fearsome and intractable wheat diseases in recent decades, spreading through infected seeds, crop residues, and spores that can travel long distances in the air, posing a major threat to wheat production in tropical areas. The main symptom of the blast disease is spike bleaching, impairing grain production and causing yield losses of up to 100% in susceptible wheat cultivars.

What is wheat blast disease?

Wheat blast disease is a fast-acting and devastating fungal disease that threatens food safety and security in tropical areas in South America and South Asia. It directly strikes the wheat ear, causing the grain to shrivel and deform in less than a week from the first symptoms, leaving farmers with no time to act. The disease, caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae pathotype triticum (MoT), can spread through infected seeds and survives on crop residues, as well as by spores that can travel long distances in the air. Magnaporthe oryzae can infect many grasses, including barley, lolium, rice, and wheat, with wheat isolates preferring wheat plants but also using several other cereal and grass species as alternate hosts.


The pathogen can infect all aerial wheat plant parts, but maximum damage is done when it infects the wheat ear.

It can shrivel and deform the grain in less than a week from first symptoms, leaving farmers no time to act.

How does blast infect a wheat crop?

Wheat blast spreads through infected seeds, crop residues as well as by spores that can travel long distances in the air.


Source: CIMMYT

How can farmers prevent and manage wheat blast?

Cultural measures:

  • Avoid heading to coincide with increasing temperature, high precipitation, high RH.

  • Destroy the alternate weed host.

  • Affected area to be slashed/deep buried.

  • Crop rotation with non-cereal crops like sesame, Mungbean, Sesbania.

  • Procurement of quality seeds produced in disease-free areas for planting.

  • Use of wheat blast-resistant wheat varieties and germplasm.

  • Training of field extension officers and farmers in the identification of wheat blast and other wheat diseases.

Chemical control:

Seed treatment with Tebuconazole, Difenoconazole,Carboxin + Thiram, Carbendazim + Thiram

Foliar spray with Tebuconazole+ Trifloxystrobin, Tebuconazole, Mancozeb, Azoxystrobin + Tebuconazole, Pyraclostrobin + Epoxiconazole

Since 2003, King Quenson has been thriving to introduce the latest technologies to agricultural industries and farmers to achieve mutual development and prosperity. With years of dedication and rich experience, King Quenson devotes more than 20 years to crop protection and offers solutions.


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