Reduction of winter wheat yield losses caused by stripe rust through fungicide management
Stripe rust of winter bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) causes substantial grain yield loss in Central Asia. This study involved two replicated field experiments undertaken in 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 winter wheat crop seasons. The first experiment was conducted to determine grain yield reductions on susceptible winter wheat cultivars using single and two sprays of fungicide at Zadoks growth stages Z61–Z69 in two farmers’ fields in Tajikistan and one farmer’s field in Uzbekistan. In the second experiment, four different fungicides at two concentrations were evaluated at Zadoks growth stage Z69. These included three products from BASF – Opus (0.5 l/ha and 1.0 l/ha), Platoon (0.5 l/ha and 1.0 l/ ha) and Opera (0.75 l/ha and 1.5 l/ha) – and locally used fungicide Titul 390 (0.5 l/ha and 1.0 l/ha). One and two sprays of fungicides did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) in increasing grain yield. Stripe rust reduced grain yield and 1000-kernel weight (TKW) from 24 to 39% and from 16 to 24%, respectively. The benefits from the two concentrations of the same fungicide did not consistently resulted in significantly higher grain yield, suggesting that the lower concentrations could be more cost effective. Our study provides important information about the selection of fungicides, spray concentrations and number of spray to control stripe rust and increase grain yield. The findings could play an important role in developing stripe rust management approaches such as fungicide rotation and strategic fungicide applications in Central Asian countries.