Stripe rust has been found in Arkansas wheat.

Jason Kelley, grain specialist with the University of Arkansas, provided the following alert:

“It seems way too early to be talking about stripe rust in wheat, but (it) was found by Prairie County Extension agent Brent Griffin on his family farm in northern Lonoke County in late December. For those not familiar with this area, this is in central Arkansas about 30 miles northeast of Little Rock. This is a very similar scenario that we faced in 2012 when stripe rust was found in January.”

A more detailed explanation of the situation is provided by Gene Milus, wheat pathologist with the University of Arkansas, here.

Griffin, writes Milus, “found at least four hot spots of stripe rust on his family’s farm in northern Lonoke County on December 19, 2012. This beats the record set last January by about one month. The hot spots are now about 3 feet in diameter and are on an unknown variety that was planted on October 8. … Given that all contemporary varieties are more or less susceptible to stripe rust during early growth stages, there likely are more hot spots developing throughout Arkansas and surrounding states.”