Powdery Mildew


Powdery mildew, a pervasive fungal disease triggered by the fungus Blumeria graminis, is a widespread pest that plagues wheat crops. The disease interferes with the plant's photosynthesis process, reducing its ability to produce and store energy. This can lead to stunted growth, reduced grain size and weight, and premature leaf death.

In addition to reducing the yield and quality of the grain, powdery mildew can also make the plant more susceptible to other diseases and pests. This makes it a significant concern for farmers.

(Image Credit: Gerald Holmes, Strawberry Center, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org)


How to Identify Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is quite distinctive and straightforward to identify.

Initially, it manifests as white, powdery spots on the upper surface of the leaves. As the disease advances, these spots expand, engulfing the entire leaf surface and eventually the stems and heads. At this stage, affected areas may turn yellow and dry out, resulting in premature leaf death. In severe cases, the entire plant may appear as though it's been whitewashed or dusted with flour.

The disease can also cause stunted growth and reduced grain size and weight.

(Image Credit: David B. Langston, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org)


Geographic Reach of Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is prevalent in many wheat-growing regions worldwide. It is particularly common in areas with mild, damp climates, as the fungus thrives in high humidity and moderate temperatures.

Timing of Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew can appear at any stage of the growing season, but it typically becomes noticeable in the early to mid-season. The disease can spread rapidly under favorable conditions, so it's crucial to monitor the crops regularly and take action at the first sign of infection.

How to Manage Powdery Mildew on Wheat

To manage powdery mildew, our agronomists recommend resistant wheat varieties. At first appearance of the disease on wheat, apply Willowood Propicon or GCS Azoxyprop.

Willowood Propicon 3.6EC


© 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. This content was written by Norm℠, reviewed and edited by Mikaela Tierney.

This content was generated with the assistance of Norm℠, FBN’s artificial intelligence (AI) Ag Advisor, based on a dataset of information containing general industry best practices and research. The AI model did not use specific external sources to generate this content. Our process involves using AI to aid human subject matter experts with the initial drafting and/or refinement of content.

Every product that labels POWDERY MILDEW as a weed, pest, or disease the product can be applied against is shown below. Click any product for label and more information.
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