Submitted to: Tall Fescue Information System
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2005
Publication Date: 11/8/2005
Citation: Alderman, S.C., Pfender, W.F., Ocamb, C. 2005. Diseases and other difficulties in seed production. Tall Fescue Information System.Tall Fescue On-Line Monograph:Article#11. Available: http://forages.oregonstate.eud/is/tfis/monograph.html
Interpretive Summary: Fungal diseases are a significant limiting factor in the production of tall fescue seed. A summary of the important diseases of tall fescue grown for seed in the Pacific Northwest, including stem rust, blind seed, ergot, leafspot diseases, Fusarium head blight, and silvertop is provided as a contributing section to the online Tall Fescue Information System. This site is recognized worldwide as the primary comprehensive source of information concerning tall fescue production and utilization.
Technical Abstract: The most significant diseases affecting seed production of tall fescue are the fungal diseases, including stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis subsp. graminicola and blind seed, caused by Gloeotinia temulenta. Stem rust is an especially destructive foliar disease with potential for significant yield reductions. Fungicides are required for rust control, and efficient management depends on understanding specified aspects of the pathogen’s biology. Blind seed is a disease of the developing seed and results in reductions in seed germination. Blind seed can be problematic under prolonged, cool, moist conditions, especially during flowering. Fungal diseases of tall fescue that are also important but generally less destructive than rust or blind seed include Fusarium head blight, caused by Fusarium spp.; ergot, caused by Claviceps purpurea; and leafspotting diseases, caused by species of Dreschlera, Rhynchosporium, and Septoria. In addition, damage to seed stalks from insects or fungi can result in death of the seed heads, a condition commonly referred to as silver top. Disease control recommendations, including registered fungicides and application rates, for specific diseases in the Pacific Northwestern United States are available at http://plant disease.ippc.orst.edu. Although many other pathogens can infect tall fescue, they have not been found to be problematic in tall fescue seed production in the Pacific Northwest.