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I'm growing an obscure strain of "tripled perennial wheat" originally purchased from Caleb Warnock's Seed Renaissance. I've been learning about growing grains, and had made the ignorant mistake of mulching this patch with straw.

I suspect that has caused the disease that they are now showing. It has started to be the rainy season here (Western Washington state in September). Is there anything I can do to help these successfully set seed? I am trying to grow out my seed, and don't want to lose a year's progress.

Edit: I found a few nifty wheat disease identification pages: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/smgrains/pp1552.pdf http://www.utcrops.com/wheat/Presentations/Newman%20Wheat%20Diseases.pdf

After reviewing those, it looks like maybe this is some kind of blotch. And I found another page that suggests that Stagonospora nodorum blotch is transmitted by... wait for it... wheat stubble. : (

Edit 2: I think I'll try removing as much of the diseased leaves as I have patience for, and then applying a baking soda spray to try to prevent the remaining healthy tissues from being impacted. The disease is pretty advanced, but I just want to get some seeds if I can...

https://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com/baking-soda-fungicide.html

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Western Washington State University...Do you mean Ellensburg or Pullman? I went to WSU. I lived West of Ellensburg and took my third Master Gardener course by WSU there. WSU has incredible horticulture/agriculture programs. Grasses, wheat, oats and agriculture is a tough thing to have learned or to be taught. (My initial thought was Thrip from your pictures). This environment in not a normal wheat producing environment, it is in a garden protected from wind, GMO and pesticides. What are your goals here?

If I were you (I've been through WSU's cooperative extension service for Master Gardeners three times including any seminar I could take...all gardeners should take this course that is offered through Universities in every state) I'd contact them. Central Washington College is in Ellensburg and has little that I know about in terms of horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Botany and Agriculture. Also, other incredible courses are taught by the Pesticide Applicator licensing people who are also part of WSU extension service (Puyallup) They do not teach how to use pesticides, they teach how not to use any pesticide/herbicide. How to read the label 5X. They teach maintenance crews the basics of botany, entomology, soils and critical stuff to know to maintain gardens. Seriously a super service!

  • Thank you! I should contact them. I'm actually closer to Seattle - haha, I meant the western region of Washington state. – jpadvo Sep 7 '16 at 15:26
  • WSU Cooperative Extension Service works the entire state. They are the ones that do all the Master Gardener classes, Master Composter classes and Master Preserver classes. They also are in charge of all the pesticide applicator seminars, continuing education and testing. I learned how to identify grasses but anything else about the grasses like diseases were left to the agricultural students to handle. Usually one University per state handles all of the extension services. – stormy Sep 8 '16 at 18:23
  • Nice articles, N. Dakota is a bit different than Washington. Where you live it is probably too wet, too humid, too little wind for aeration to grow wheat in your environment. I could even see a little bit of rust. Have you looked at the seed heads closely? You might want to go find NON GMO wheat seed to store. If you've got that much bacterial and/or fungal problems I wouldn't be saving those seeds. Wheat Berries are supposed to be one of the best foods around to include Amaranth seeds. You gotta store only the best, disease free stuff however. Let us know what they tell you! Please. – stormy Sep 8 '16 at 18:40

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