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Research Project: Establishing the Infrastructure to Develop Predictive Tools for Wheat Diseases and Support Grower Management Decisions (MT St U)

Location: National Programs

Project Number: 0500-00102-001-21-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2020
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

Objective:
Additional information about the role of environment in pathogen survival, movement of inoculum and disease develop is essential to the development of robust predictive models of rust diseases and Parastagonospora leaf blotch. Therefore, the first year of the wheat Predictive Model Tool Initiative will focus on the following objectives : 1) Develop a database of historical disease epidemics in the U.S that will serve as a foundation for the modeling effort; 2) Quantify the relationship between pathogen inoculum density, disease development, and weather in small plot trials; 3) Quantify the relationships between pathogen inoculum, disease development and weather in commercial fields.

Approach:
Montana State University will participate in the National Predictive Modelling Tool Initiative for Wheat. We will participate in Objective 1 by assisting to collate and analyze data in collaboration with PIs Paul and DeWolf. We will participate in Objective 2 by establishing a residue trial with three levels and four varieties of winter wheat at the Lutz Research Farm north of Bozeman, MT. We will participate in Objective 3 by establishing spore samplers at winter wheat breeding plots at research centers (3: Kalispell, Bozeman, and Sidney, MT) and one farmer field location to be determined near Manhattan, MT. Additional spore traps will be added to farmer locations dependent on funding from the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. A post doc will be responsible for establishment and maintenance of spore traps and research plots, training research center employees to collect slides and maintain spore traps, collecting stubble and soil samples, mailing samples in a timely manner, and collating and analyzing data from the project. They will participate in PI meetings as part of the project. Research plots will be established fall 2020 and data collection will be initiated at crop green-up (approximately mid-April 2021) through crop maturity, an estimated 12-16 weeks of data collection due to varying times of crop development and maturity across the breadth of the state of Montana.