Wheat producers to meet, discuss disease options

Karnal Bunt, a serious wheat disease recently confirmed in several counties including San Saba, McCulloch, Throck-morton, Archer, and Young Counties, is a major concern to United States wheat producers because of the detrimental marketing affects it would have on wheat prices. In 1997, the entire county of San Saba was placed in a regulated area for seed production with surveillance areas reaching into McCulloch and Mills counties to help stop the spread of this disease. Since then, no confirmed cases were detected until now. “One main reason for the renewed outbreak this year is the cool, wet spring we experienced,” said McCulloch County Extension Agent Jerry Kidd. “Two important public awareness educational meetings will be held in the McCulloch/San Saba area. All interested individuals are urged to attend one of the special meetings to understand the precautions and restrictions being placed on wheat producers at this time.” Meeting times have been staggered where individuals can attend either a night or daytime meeting. The night meeting will be held in the San Saba County Courthouse courtroom starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12. The following morning of July 13, the meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. at the McCulloch County Farm Bureau facility in Brady located at 1200 N. Bridge Street. Speakers will include USDA/APHIS, extension, and industry leaders. Topics will include the description of the disease, its life cycle and why it is important to wheat producers, potential economic consequences of Karnal bunt, current infected areas, quarantine and regulatory programs, alternative treatments to allow use of infected grain, alternative crops, cropping systems, BMPs to reduce the risk of the disease’seed treatment, planting inspected seed, equipment sanitation, and other related topics.

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