Notes to broadcasters: Disease in wheat

    | November 18, 2013

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    New seed varieties developed in Kenya to battle the lethal stem rust disease in wheat are proving effective in the fight against the disease-causing organism or pathogen known as Ug99, discovered in Uganda fourteen years ago.

    The following UN Food and Agriculture Organization web pages track and report on stem rust:

    Here is information on Ug99 in particular:

    Basic information on, and photos of, wheat stem rust can be found here:

    Here is some further reading on new seed varieties:

    Two Ug99-resistant wheat varieties developed in Kenya:

    FRW has reported on stem rust and the new wheat varieties:

    Kenyans optimistic about new wheat varieties:

    Stem rust returns to threaten wheat crops again (IPS, IRIN, The Economist):

    Farm Radio International has produced a number of scripts on pests and diseases in crops. Try out these Resource Packages:
    Integrated pest management strategies for farmers (FRRP #72, September 2004) can be downloaded here:
    Farmer innovation (FRRP # 81, August 2007): .

    If you broadcast to a region where farmers grow wheat, you could produce a story highlighting stem rust.

    -Are new seed varieties helping wheat farmers overcome diseases such as Ug99?
    -Is stem rust a disease that farmers know how to deal with?
    -Have they heard of Ug99, or heard reports about new strains of stem rust?
    -How do they currently manage wheat diseases?
    -Would they use fungicides to control rust? Are fungicides affordable?
    -How often do they check wheat for signs of disease?