Victoria blight in oats, which occurs only in Victoria-type oats, is a fungal disease that at one time caused significant crop damage. The history of Victoria blight of oats began in the early 1940s when a cultivar known as Victoria was introduced from Argentina to the United States. The plants, used for breeding purposes as a source of crown rust resistance, were initially released in Iowa.
The plants grew so well that, within five years, nearly all of oats planted in Iowa and half planted in North America were the Victoria strain. Although the plants were rust resistant, they were highly susceptible to Victoria blight in oats. The disease soon reached epidemic proportions. As a result, many oat cultivars that have proven to be resistant to crown rust are susceptible to Victoria blight of oats.
Let’s learn about the signs and symptoms of oats with Victoria blight.
About Victoria Blight of Oats
Victoria blight of oats kills seedlings shortly after they emerge. Older plants are stunted with shriveled kernels. Oat leaves develop orange or brownish streaks on the edges along with brown, gray-centered spots that eventually turn reddish-brown.
Oats with Victoria blight often develop root rot with blackening at the leaf nodes.
Control of Oat Victoria Blight
Victoria blight in oats is a complex disease that it toxic only to oats with a certain genetic makeup. Other species aren’t affected. The disease has largely been controlled by development of varietal resistance.