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Agriculture

Flag Smut Disease Detected In Kansas Wheat For The First Time In 80 Years

Kansas weather conditions have been ideal this year for the development of wheat disease, including one that hasn’t been detected in Kansas since the 1930s.

Agricultural officials are contacting Kansas farmers with fields infected with flag smut disease and asking them to delay harvest and clean their equipment in an effort to contain its spread.

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Credit http://www.agriculture.ks.gov

Beth Gaines with the Kansas Department of Agriculture says the disease has been detected at low infestation levels in 39 fields in central and western Kansas.

Affected farmers will also be asked to treat their seed for next year's wheat with a fungicide.

"This disease is very controllable with a fungicide so we can reduce the impact and the spread of this disease in crop years going forward," Gaines says.

Flag smut presents no human or animal health concern and has no impact on grain quality. It can have a negative impact on wheat yield, the severity of which depends on the level of infestation in the field.