Dec 5, 2011: Survey summary, Kenya 2011 – Stem rust predominates, but indications of effective control in some areas

Kenya: During 2011 (Jan-Sept.) staff from KARI, Njoro carried out extensive rust surveys throughout the Kenyan wheat growing areas. A total of 466 fields were surveyed for rusts. stem rust was the predominant disease recorded on the surveys; present in 306 of the 466 fields visited (66%). Stem rust was widespread – being observed in all the areas surveyed, but compared to previous years disease severity was reduced. Only 56 of the 466 fields visited (13%) recorded stem rust severity as moderate (20-40%) or high (>40%) [c.f. moderate or high severity in 40% of fields in 2007, 23%  in 2008, 33% in 2009, 26% in 2010]. In the North Rift region, surveyors considered that most of the farmers were undertaking effective chemical control of stem rust and this was leading to a noticeable decrease in the incidence and severity of the disease. In addition, two new rust resistant varieties (Eagle-10 and Robin) were officially released by KARI, Njoro in 2011. It is hoped that both of these, along with future forthcoming varieties, will give Kenyan wheat farmers more options for rust control.

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