Annual rust surveys, led by Asmelash Wolday of NARI, during the period 3-15th October 2013 covered all the main wheat growing regions of Eritrea. A total of 69 sites were surveyed (see survey map – http://rusttracker.cimmyt.org/?page_id=1518).
As in previous years, stem rust predominated on the Eritrea surveys and the disease was widespread throughout the survey area. High frequency of stem rust in Eritrea has been a consistent trend for the last four years (see Fig. 1), only the drought year of 2009 stands out as being rust free. In 2013, stem rust was observed at 63 of the 69 sites surveyed (91%) with most sites (n=59) recording moderate (20-40%) or high (>40%) disease severity. A range of cereal crops were infected with stem rust, including; bread wheat, durum wheat, barley and wild oats. Extensive sampling was undertaken and samples are currently undergoing analysis at AAFC, Winnepeg, Canada and the Cereals Disease lab, Minnesota, USA.
Leaf and yellow rust were also widespread in Eritrea in 2013. Leaf rust was recorded at 49 of the sites surveyed (71%), with most sites (n=44) recording high (>40%) disease severity. Yellow rust was recorded at 33 of the sites surveyed (48%), with moderate or high disease severity recorded at 30 of the infected sites. Several yellow rust samples were collected and are currently undergoing analysis at the Global Rust Reference Center, Denmark.