How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Small Grains


Pathogen: Gaeumannomyces graminis f. sp.tritici

(Reviewed 2/07, updated 2/07)

In this Guideline:


Symptoms first appear as stunting and reduced tillering early in the growing season. Later, infected plants prematurely form white heads that lack grain. Roots and crowns are darkened. The presence of a layer of dark brown or black fungal mycelium underneath the lowest leaf sheaths distinguishes take-all from common root rot.


The fungus survives on crop residue and on roots of certain grass weeds, including bentgrass, quackgrass, and some species of brome. Under conditions of high soil moisture, the fungus spreads to adjacent plants by root contact. Infection is favored by cool weather. Take-all is more severe in plants grown on alkaline soil or soil deficient in nutrients.


Cultural Control
Crop rotation: oats and rye are acceptable rotation crops because they are not hosts for the pathogen. Improve field drainage. Provide optimum soil fertility. Avoid excessive nitrate fertilizer, which aggravates take-all.

Chemical Control
There are no recommended chemical treatments for this disease.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Small Grains
UC ANR Publication 3466


R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
L. F. Jackson, Agronomy, UC Davis

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