Barley Scald is a leaf disease caused by a fungus. This fungus has a very short, 7-10 day life cycle which allows it to spread very quickly in a crop if the conditions are right.

How is it Spread?

Rain splash is the greatest contributor to transfer of the disease from plant to plant. Fungi are also carried over on crop residue and infected seed.

What to Look For

  Scald   Scald

Leaf infection                                   Infected barley crop

  Scald  Scald

Late-stage leaf infection                 Severe leaf infections


Fortunately, Barley Scald is a disease that has a good number of preventative measures available, such as:

  • Use good quality seed with high germination and vigour;
  • Treat seed with recommended treatment at proper rates;
  • Plant resistant varieties, especially when continuous cropping with barley;
  • Rotate varieties when choosing seed;
  • Follow a good fertility program;
  • Scout fields regularly to detect signs of disease; and
  • Apply an in-crop fungicide treatment when necessary using a registered product at recommended rates.

Related Links

Alberta Barley Scald

Prairie Soils & Crops Scald Information