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NC State Extension

Small Grains

New fact sheet posted May 18, 2015:  Harvesting Scabby Wheat and Dealing with Don

Scab in Wheat from Harrison Baton Rouge disease nursery 2015

North Carolina plants between 500,000 and 1 million acres of small grains annually, most of which is soft red winter wheat harvested for grain. Statewide average yields for wheat range from 40 to 70 bushels per acre. The largest production areas are in the Coastal Plain, Tidewater, and Piedmont regions. Oats and barley are planted on about 35,000 and 20,000 acres in North Carolina, respectively. The relatively warm winters and humid growing seasons in North Carolina are conducive to foliar fungal diseases and insect-transmitted viruses. The main diseases that limit yield and quality in North Carolina wheat are powdery mildew,  leaf rust, Fusarium head blight, barley yellow dwarf virus, and wheat soilborne mosaic virus. When prices and yield potential justify the costs, foliar fungicides are used for foliar diseases.

Some additional web sites:

More information about disease in small grains is available from Dr. Christina Cowger, USDA-ARS Small Grains Pathologist, NCSU Department of Plant Pathology, Tel. 919-513-7388,

Factsheets on Diseases of Small Grains

Harvesting Scabby Wheat and Dealing With DON