Spring Wheat Response to Disease Control and Subsurface Drainage Management in the Red River of the North Valley, USA


Increased variability in rainfall events and high production input costs are driving agricultural producers to consider subsurface water management in the flat Red River of the North Valley in Eastern North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota, USA. Subsurface tile incorporated with water table control structures was utilized from 2009 to 2011 to investigate the response of hard red spring wheat (HRSW) (Triticum aestivum L. emend. Thell.) for yield, disease, and other agronomic characteristics to soil water management. A factorial arrangement of four cultivars, two seed treatments, and two foliar fungicide treatments in a split-plot design with closed and open tile as whole-plots was used. Mean wheat yields averaged across years were not significantly different with closed or open tile treatments. There existed an optimum management practice where plant useable water was not freely drained and analyzing the data with the optimum water management for each year found the optimum water table managed treatment yielded higher with 3812 kg ha-1 compared with limited water table management with 3679 kg ha-1. In 2011, the cultivars Faller and Howard were taller, and Traverse had lower root disease severity. In 2010 and 2011, Howard and Traverse had more leaf disease with open tile compared with closed tile. Across years, there was no difference in root disease, stand, number of spikes, crop height, or yield response to appli-cation of seed treatments with open or closed tile. In 2010, there was a 3.7% yield advantage with application of seed treatment on open tile. Across years, there was no yield response to application of foliar fungicides; however, wheat yield with foliar fungicide was 5% higher than without application in 2010. Producers should be using water table control and disease management to maximize HRSW yield. Further research should investigate water table management throughout the season based on weather conditions.

Share and Cite:

Mehring, G. , J. Kandel, H. , Ransom, J. , Schoch, A. and Steele, D. (2015) Spring Wheat Response to Disease Control and Subsurface Drainage Management in the Red River of the North Valley, USA. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 1220-1231. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.610117.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] NDAWN (2014) Weather Data. North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network. North Dakota State University, Fargo.
[2] Wiersma J.J., Sands, G.R., Kandel, H.J., Rendahl, A.K., Jin, C.X. and Hansen, B.J. (2010) Responses of Spring Wheat and Soybean to Subsurface Drainage in Northwest Minnesota. Agronomy Journal, 102, 1399-1406.
[3] USDA-NASS (2015)
[4] McMullen, M., Jones, R. and Gallenberg, D. (1997) Scab of Wheat and Barley: A Re-Emerging Disease of Devastating Impact. Plant Disease, 81, 1340-1348.
[5] Sands, G. (2001) Agricultural Drainage: Soil Water Concepts. University of Minnesota Extension Service.
[6] Jin, C.X., Sands, G.R., Kandel, H.J., Wiersma, J.J. and Hansen, B.J. (2008) Influence of Subsurface Drainage in Soil Temperature in a Cold Climate. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 134, 83-88.
[7] Chieng, S.T., Keng, J. and Driehuyzen, M.G. (1987) Effects of Subsurface Drainage and Subirrigation on the Yields of Four Crops. Canadian Agricultural Engineering, 29, 21-26.
[8] Kandel, H.J., Brodshaug, J.A., Steele, D.D., Ransom, J.K., DeSutter, T.M. and Sands, G.R. (2013) Subsurface Drainage Effects on Soil Penetration Resistance and Water Table Depth on a Clay Soil in the Red River of the North Valley, USA. Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal, 15, 1-10.
[9] Nelson, K.A., Meinhardt, C.G. and Smoot, R.L. (2012) Soybean Cultivar Response to Subsurface Drainage and Subirrigation in Northeast Missouri. Crop Management, 11, 1.
[10] Nelson, K.A. and Smoot, R.L. (2012) Corn Hybrid Response to Water Management Practices on Claypan Soil. International Journal of Agronomy, 2012.
[11] Nelson, K.A. and Meinhardt, C.G. (2011) Soybean Yield Response to Pyraclostrobin and Drainage Water Management. Agronomy Journal, 103, 1359-1366.
[12] Nelson, K.A., Smoot, R.L. and Meinhardt, C.G. (2011) Soybean Response to Drainage and Subirrigation on a Claypan Soil in Northeast Missouri. Agronomy Journal, 103, 1216-1222.
[13] McMullen, M. and Adhikari, T. (2009) PP-1249. Fungal Leaf Spot Diseases of Wheat: Tan Spot, Stagonospora nodorum Blotch and Septoria tritici Blotch. NDSU Extension Service, Fargo, 1-6.
[14] Bechtel, D.B., Kaleikau, L.A., Gaines, R.L. and Seitz, L.M. (1985) The Effects of Fusarium graminearum Infection on Wheat Kernels. Cereal Chemistry, 62, 191-197.
[15] Ransom, J.K. and McMullen, M.P. (2008) Yield and Disease Control on Hard Winter Wheat Cultivars with Foliar Fungicides. Agronomy Journal, 100, 1130-1137.
[16] Harding, H. (1978) Root Rot of Cereals-Everyone’s Problem? Canada Agriculture, 23, 25-29.
[17] Machacek, J.E. (1943) An Estimate of Loss in Manitoba from Common Root-Rot in Wheat. Scientia Agricola, 24, 70-77.
[18] Stack, R.W. and McMullen M.P. (1991) Effects of Fungicide Seed Treatments on Common Root Rot of Spring Wheat and Barley. North Dakota Farm Research, 49, 13-16.
[19] Wiersma, J.J. and Kandel, H.J. (2004) The Response of Fusarium graminearum-Infected Seed of Hard Red Spring Wheat to Vitavax Extra RTU and Dividend XL Seed Treatments. Plant Health Progress.
[20] Zadoks, J.C., Chang, T.T. and Konzak, C.F. (1974) A Decimal Code for the Growth Stages of Cereals. Weed Research, 14, 415-421.
[21] USDA-NRCS (2012) Soil Survey of Cass County. USDA-NRCS, Washington DC.
[22] Anderson, J., Wiersma, J., Linkert, G., Reynolds, S. and Springer, C. (2010) Varietal Trial Results: Wheat, Hard Red Spring. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
[23] Ransom, J.K., Mergoum, M. and Simsek, S. (2009) A-574. North Dakota Hard Red Spring Wheat Variety Trial Results for 2009. NDSU Extension Service, Fargo.
[24] Wiersma, J.J. and Ransom, J.K. (2005) The Small Grains Field Guide. North Dakota State University Extension Publication A290 and University of Minnesota Extension Service Publication 0788-S, Fargo and St. Paul.
[25] Nowatzki, J., Halley, S., Van Ee, G., Hofman, V., McMullen, M., Hollingsworth, C. and Ruden, B. (2013) AE1314. Ground Application of Fungicide for the Suppression of Fusarium Head Blight in Small Grains. NDSU Extension Service, Fargo, 1-4.
[26] Stack, R.W. and McMullen, M. (1999) PP-785. Root and Crown Rots of Smalls Grains. North Dakota State University, Fargo.
[27] Tobias, D.J., Stack, R.W., Puri, K.D., Riveland, N. and Zhong, S. (2009) Reactions of Hard Red Spring Wheat to Common Root Rot under Field Conditions of Northern United States of America. Euphytica, 167, 165-172.
[28] Stack, R.W. and McMullen, M.P. (2011) PP-1095. A Visual Scale to Estimate Severity of Fusarium Head Blight in Wheat. North Dakota State University Extension Publication, Fargo.
[29] Poole, C.A., Skaggs, R.W., Cheschier, G.M., Youssef, M.A. and Crozier, C.R. (2013) Effects of Drainage Water Management on Crop Yields in North Carolina. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 68, 429-437.
[30] Cook, R.J., Weller, D.M., El-Banna, A.Y., Vakoch, D. and Zhang, H. (2002) Yield Response of Direct-Seeded Wheat to Rhizobacteria and Fungicide Seed Treatments. Plant Disease, 86, 780-784.
[31] Willyerd, K.T., Li, C., Madden, L.V., Bradley, C.A., Bergstrom, G.C., Sweets, L.E., McMullen, M., Ransom, J.K., Grybauskas, A., Osborne, L., Wegulo, S.N., Hershman, D.E., Wise, K., Bockus, W.W., Groth, D., Dill-Macky, R., Milus, E., Esker, P.D., Waxman, K.D., Adee, E.A., Ebelhar, S.E., Young, B.G. and Paul, P.A. (2012) Efficacy and Stability of Integrating Fungicide and Cultivar Resistance to Manage Fusarium Head Blight and Deoxynivalenol in Wheat. Plant Disease, 96, 957-967.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.