Spore trapping for the 2021 Ergot Alert Network was started on April 29 at most locations. This season, we have the following spore traps in place:

  • Lower Columbia Basin: Burkard spore trap in artificially-infested perennial ryegrass fungicide test plots at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Spores have been detected at this site.
  • Upper Columbia Basin: Burkard spore trap and rotating arm sampler in a Kentucky bluegrass seed field near Paterson, WA (naturally occurring inoculum).
  • Central Oregon: Burkard spore trap in Kentucky bluegrass plant growth regulator test plots at the Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center (naturally occurring inoculum). Spores have been detected at this site.
  • Union County: Rotating arm samplers placed in two Kentucky bluegrass seed fields with moderate and high histories of ergot (naturally occurring inoculum)

Many fields are nearing anthesis. Protective fungicides should be applied immediately prior to onset of anthesis and throughout the flowering period to protect unfertilized ovaries from infection. Cultivars with prolonged flowering periods may require more than one application.

Please refer to the PNW Plant Disease Management Handbook for more information on fungicide options for ergot (https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/host-disease/grass-seed-ergot), or contact Jeremiah Dung if you have any questions.

This work is funded by the Eastern Oregon Kentucky Bluegrass Working Group, the Washington Turfgrass Seed Commission, the Oregon Seed Council, and the Agricultural Research Foundation.

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