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ARS Home » Crop Production and Protection » Research » Research Project #445580

Research Project: Texas Wheat and Cotton Disease Predictive Tool Development

Location: Crop Production and Protection

Project Number: 0500-00102-001-031-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2024
End Date: May 31, 2025

The overall project goal is to develop predictive tools from standardized and validated datasets to guide grower decisions targeting foliar diseases of wheat and cotton.

The project goals are conducted in five objectives: 1) Collection of data relating to inoculum potential for each crop on a weekly to bi-weekly basis using air samplers at three locations in Texas; 2) Collection of foliar disease data - incidence and severity of foliar diseases of cotton and wheat; 3) Collection of weather data using subscriptions from a Cooperator; 4) Collection of crop information (planting date, planting rate, management data, etc.) for each location; and 5) Forward data to other cooperators to develop predictive tools for disease management of cotton and wheat. To achieve these objectives for wheat, the Cooperator will monitor the crop for foliar diseases starting in March and finishing by June of each year in three university research farms and two wheat breeder nurseries. Airborne spore sampling will be done with cyclone and rotorod-type samplers that will be deployed at each site. A cooperator will quantify the DNA of each pathogen in each sample. Diseases will be rated in each plot by visual inspection. Weather stations will be installed at each location to collect meteorological data up until harvest. For cotton, foliar diseases starting in June and finishing in August. Cotton planted at the university agricultural station will be monitored with air samplers (Burkard spore traps or rotorod traps) to detect and quantify pathogen inoculum and these fields will be evaluated for disease symptoms. Additionally, two commercial fields in Texas will be monitored for foliar diseases. “Management plots” will also be established at the university agricultural station with at least 2 varieties (one being a standard across locations). These will be small plots, replicated, with and without fungicide application to be taken to yield. The management plots will be evaluated for visual disease ratings, monitored with air samplers, weather conditions recorded, and other crop information recorded (i.e. planting date, planting rate, row spacing, and other agronomic data). The cotton diseases that will be rated include target spot, areolate/Ramularia mildew, and leaf spots caused by other pathogens.