The cereal grain wheat is subject to numerous wheat diseases, including bacterial, viral and fungal diseases, as well as parasitic infestations.

Principal diseases

Main article: List of wheat diseases

In Europe

Cereals are at risk from numerous diseases due to the level of intensification necessary for profitable production since the 1970s. More recently varietal diversification, good plant breeding and the availability of effective fungicides have played a prominent part in cereal disease control. Use of break crops and good rotations are also good cultural control measures. The demise of UK straw burning in the 1980s also increased the importance of good disease control.

Active control measures include use of chemical seed treatments for seed-borne diseases and chemical spray applications for leaf and ear diseases. Development of resistance by diseases to established chemicals has been a problem during the previous 30 years.

In the USA

Wheat is subject to more diseases than other grains, and, in some seasons, especially in wet ones, heavier losses are sustained from those diseases than are in other cereal crops. Wheat may suffer from the attack of insects at the root; from blight, which primarily affects the leaf or straw, and ultimately deprives the grain of sufficient nourishment; from mildew on the ear; and from gum of different shades, which lodges on the chaff or cups in which the grain is deposited.


Fungicides used on wheat, grouped by type, with examples of the active chemical ingredient:


  1. ^ "Wheat disease management guide" (PDF). HGCA, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Cereals/Seed Treatment Trials: Efficacy of seed treatment fungicides in spring barley and spring wheat" (PDF). MTT Agrifood Research Finland. 23 November 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 October 2014.
  3. ^ Smith, J.; Grimmer, M.; Waterhouse, S. & Paveley, N. (2013). "Quantifying the non-fungicidal effects of foliar applications of fluxapyroxad (Xemium) on stomatal conductance, water use efficiency and yield in winter wheat". Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences. 78 (3): 523–535. PMID 25151827. Abstract
  4. ^ Rowell, J. B. (1976). "Controlof Leaf Rust on Spring Wheat by Seed Treatment with 4-N-butyl-1.2.4-triazole" (PDF). Phytopathology. 66 (9): 1129–1134. doi:10.1094/phyto-66-1129. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2012.

Further reading