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Black Stem Rust

Puccinia graminis




Wheat, oats, barley, rye and grasses


Streaky rust-brown pustules appear on the leaves, leaf sheaths, stems and glumes. These develop into darker pustules, particularly on the leaf sheaths and stems.


Black stem rust is spread by means of wind borne spores. There is an overwintering stage which re-infects crops via an intermediate host, the shrub barberry. In the UK, barberry is not believed to be an important factor in disease spread. Epidemics usually start from wind borne spores from continental Europe, and for this reason the disease tends to be confined to the South West of England.

Favourable Factors

Moist, warm weather.


Despite attacks coming late in the season the extremely rapid spread can lead to shrivelled grain, reducing yield and baking quality.


Identification and Management of cereal diseases

Find out more information on the key disease threats to your cereal crop. For each disease you will find out the importance of the disease in terms of potential yield penalty, how to identify the disease in its early stages and our advice on the best control strategies.

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