This guide contains information on the biology and management of the most important diseases of small grains (wheat and barley) in Kentucky. Fundamental information on symptoms, disease cycle, and management is provided. For some diseases, more extensive information on biology and management is also available in other Extension publications. Additional sources of information are listed under individual diseases.

Disease management in small grains relies heavily on using disease-resistant varieties and employing sound agronomic practices. It is important to integrate both of these strategies into a comprehensive disease management program. Failure to consider one or the other will compromise the success of your efforts. The appropriate use of pesticides sometimes plays a significant role in managing certain diseases, but it is secondary to sound cultural practices and proper variety selection.

Resistance to one or more diseases is often incorporated into modern crop varieties. Unfortunately, resistance is not available for some diseases. However, when available, disease resistance is often the foundation for economical disease control.

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