Strategic disease management in wheat and barley
4Wheat and barley suffer mostly from diseases of fungal origin. Amongst these leaf, stripe and stem rusts, spot blotch, powdery mildew, and loose smut are common but are caused by different species of fungi. Karnal bunt occurs in wheat only and is of importance in international grain trade. Covered smut is an important disease of barley only in cooler regions. Cereal cyst nematode is important in wheat and barley whereas ear cockle nematode occurs in wheat only. All diseases are not important in different agro-ecological regions. Stripe rust occurs in cooler and humid agro-ecological zones whereas leaf and stem rusts like warmer climate. Powdery mildew, smuts, and bunts are of importance in cooler and humid climate. Spot blotch is quite important disease on both crops in warm and humid climate. The diseases and nematodes affect the wheat and barley crop at different growth stages and plant parts. The diseases like rusts are multiple cycle in nature whereas loose smut and flag smut are simple interest disease and easy to manage. The rusts are quite evolved for developing newer pathotypes thus posing continuous threat to wheat cultivars. Powdery mildew and wheat blast pathogens are known to develop resistance to fungicides in a faster way than other pathogens. The chapter deals with diagnosis and strategies to manage the important diseases of wheat and barley under different agro-ecological zones.