Kentucky IPM Pest Information Pages
Wheat Head Scab
Individual spikelets or groups of spikelets turn cream to white on otherwise green heads. Entire heads may become diseased when extended periods of warm, wet weather occur during flowering and early grain fill.
Nature provides the best management by limiting disease-favorable conditions during crop
flowering. No chemical controls exist, and all wheat varieties are susceptible. However, planting
two or more wheat varieties on your farm will decrease the chance of head scab by altering
flowering dates and reducing chances that all your wheat acreage will be involved in a head scab
epidemic. Planting wheat after corn or grain sorghum, especially no-till plantings, or not properly
rotating fields out of wheat, encourages head scab development. Alternative production practices,
however, do not preclude a severe head scab epidemic from developing. This is because of the
widespread occurrence of the causal fungi throughout Kentucky soils.
This site was created and is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S-225 Agricultural Science Ctr North, Lexington, KY USA 40546-0091 (phone: 859/257-3571). Please send questions or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org