Relationships Between Early Wheat Streak Mosaic Severity Levels and Grain Yield: Implications for Management Decisions.
Additional Document Info
Wheat streak mosaic (WSM) caused by Wheat streak mosaic virus, which is transmitted by the wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella), is a major yield-limiting disease in the Texas High Plains. In addition to its impact on grain production, the disease reduces water-use efficiency by affecting root development. Because of the declining Ogallala Aquifer water level, water conservation has become one of the major pressing issues in the region. Thus, questions are often raised as to whether it is worthwhile to irrigate infected fields in light of the water conservation issues, associated energy costs, and current wheat prices. To address some of these questions, field experiments were conducted in 2013 and 2016 at two separate locations to determine whether grain yield could be predicted from disease severity levels, assessed early in the spring, for potential use as a decision tool for crop management, including irrigation. In both fields, disease severity assessments started in April, using a handheld hyperspectral radiometer with which reflectance measurements were taken weekly in multiple plots in arbitrarily selected locations across the fields. The relationship between WSM severity levels and grain yield for the different assessment dates were determined by fitting reflectance and yield values into the logistic regression function. The model predicted yield levels with r2 values ranging from 0.67 to 0.85 (P < 0.0001), indicating that the impact of WSM on grain yield could be fairly well predicted from early assessments of WSM severity levels. As the disease is normally progressive over time, this type of information will be useful for making management decisions of whether to continue irrigating infected fields, especially if combined with an economic threshold for WSM severity levels.