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Bob Larson Pink Snow Mold in SW Washington Wheat Fields Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: April 10, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. There’s a fungus among us … or at least among the wheat growers in Southeast Washington. After a winter with more snowfall than we’ve seen the past two years, Pink Snow Mold has been found post snow melt on wheat in Columbia, Whitman and Walla Walla counties.

WSU plant pathologist, Tim Murray says growers he’s talked to are bracing for the bad news …

TIM MURRAY … “I know in the case of one of the fields that we looked at the grower said it was a 90 acre field and he was already planning to reseed it. I’ve heard from another field consultant around Endicott that they’ve got about 300 acres that they know of that are going to be reseeded because of this pink snow mold.”

Murray says it’s still early, but growers should be able to tell the extent of the damage within the next week or two …

TIM MURRAY … “There is going to be an impact out there. How big the impact is, is hard to say because in some of the fields that I’ve looked at it’s just patchy. It’s really limited to the areas of the field, more north-facing slopes where the snow may have fallen a little sooner, or stuck a little sooner, it lasted a little longer, didn’t melt off quite as quickly. And so, you get small patches in some fields where there’s damage as opposed to entire fields being destroyed.”

Murray says the warm November weather prior to an extended period of snow cover this winter probably gave the fungus, more commonly found at higher elevations, a better chance to take hold.

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