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SDSU works with NDSU on grains disease forecasting

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BROOKINGS (AP) — The South Dakota State University Small Grains Plant Pathology program is partnering with a similar program at North Dakota State University on a small grains disease forecasting system for South Dakota.

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The system uses weather variables including rainfall, temperature and humidity to predict the likelihood of fungal diseases developing in small grains crops, according to SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist Emmanuel Byamukama. The goal is to help farmers protect the plant areas that contribute the most to grain production and to avoid unnecessary fungicide applications — both of which can boost a producer's bottom line.

The system was developed by NDSU. Skaukat Ali, now a professor in SDSU's plant pathology department, once worked for the NDSU plant pathology department and brought the program to South Dakota when he came to SDSU, Byamukama said. The SDSU Extension Service is paying NDSU a $2,000 annual fee to use the system.

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