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

Understanding the disease

The fungus that causes take-all in wheat is ubiquitous in UK arable land. The disease reduces yield by blocking water and nutrient uptake in infected roots. Severity depends on weather and other factors including soil type.

Phases of infection

  • Primary infection occurs in autumn from inoculum in the soil. There is usually very little inoculum after a non-susceptible crop, albeit sufficient to initiate infection of a susceptible crop.
  • Secondary (root-to-root) infection occurs mostly in spring and summer. The disease spreads from infected seedling roots to developing crown roots. High levels of primary infection lead to increased secondary infection, especially when soils are warm and moist.
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