Take-all in winter wheat - management guidelines (HGCA Autumn 2006)


Take-all is a serious soil-borne disease of cereals. It is estimated that half of UK wheat crops are affected and that they suffer average yield losses of 520%. More than half of the crop can be lost when disease is severe. The cost to farmers is estimated to be up to £60 million a year.

The take-all fungus, Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici, infects winter wheat roots (also barley, rye and triticale but not oats) in the autumn. Another strain of the fungus, var. avenae, affects oats as well as other cereals but is currently very rare.

The disease cannot be completely controlled but its severity can be managed. These guidelines summarise current knowledge, including information from recent research on fungicides and rotations.

Identifying take-all


Affected plants have black lesions on roots.

Early and severe infections can lead to uneven growth and occasionally plant death in spring or early summer. These visible symptoms and, later, premature ripening (whiteheads) usually occur in patches.


Grain yield and quality are reduced.
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