Wheat Streak Mosaic

Wheat Streak Mosaic is a viral disease usually found in winter wheat. Although the disease is typically found in southern Alberta, we continue to monitor winter wheat crops in the County. Wheat Streak Mosaic is spread by a tiny mite that enters the plant through the leaves and is then translocated into all areas, causing destruction of chlorophyll. The disease can be identified by light green or yellow stripes that develop on the leaves. Stunted plants are also a sign that the disease is present in a field. The earlier the infection, the greater the damage.

What To Look For

Leaf symptoms Severe leaf symptoms
Soil-borne infection

Prevention

There is currently no pesticide control for Wheat Streak Mosaic which makes the prevention methods below much more important to follow. The following suggestions will help prevent the establishment and spread of the disease:

  • Destroy all volunteer wheat, and other host crops in and around the field to be seeded to wheat
    • Cultivation may be an included tool for removal of volunteer plants
  • Practice good agronomic practices including use of certified seed with a recommended treatment
  • Rotate crops using a non-host plant every second year