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Photo by D. Chalkley, ARS, USDA. /sbmlweb/fungi/index.cfm
Flag smut (Urocystis tritici) can potentially have a significant impact on trade as the U.S. yearly exports approximately eight million tons of wheat worth $1.7 billion to fifteen countries where flag smut is considered a quarantine pest. Bread wheats are the primary hosts of flag smut fungi. The disease is found in winter wheat areas and in cool, fall-sown spring wheat areas.
The Wyoming Stripe Rust Survey was added to the Small Grains Ug99 Rust Survey conducted
by the Wyoming CAPS Program in 2015 after flag smut was found in Kansas in May 2015.
Wheat and barley fields are visually surveyed throughout the growing season. Any
suspect material found is sent to the University of Wyoming, Department of Plant Sciences
for further identification. Some fields are selected for a more intensive sampling
effort, where twenty plants are randomly selected from each field for further examination.