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Assessment of Ergot and Blind Seed Diseases of Grasses in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. S. C. Alderman, Research Plant Pathologist, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Forage Seed Production Research Center, Corvallis, OR 97331. Plant Dis. 75:1038-1041. Accepted for publication 16 April 1991. This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source, The American Phytopathological Society, 1991. DOI: 10.1094/PD-75-1038.

The levels of ergot and blind seed among grasses grown for seed in the Willamette Valley of Oregon between 1986 and 1989 were assessed. Seed samples, representing nine grass species, were obtained from the Oregon State University Seed Laboratory (seed lab) or, in 1988 and 1989, were collected from commercial fields before harvest. Grower management information was obtained for 179 and 218 fields in 1988 and 1989, respectively. The correlation coefficient between seed lab samples and field samples with ergot in 1988 and 1989 was 0.90 and 0.61, respectively. Ergot was observed in 234% of the colonial bentgrass, creeping bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and chewing festuca seed samples examined. Significantly (P = 0.05) more samples infested with ergot were observed in 1988 than in 1989. The percentage of ergot in burned and nonburned fields was similar in 1988 and 1989, and the incidence ranged from 4 to 11%. The correlation coefficient between seed lab samples and field samples with blind seed in 1988 and 1989 was 0.90 and 0.91, respectively. Blind seed was detected in 810% of the tall fescue and in 23% of the perennial ryegrass seed samples examined. Blind seed was detected in 38% of fields open burned and 0% of fields not burned in 1988. In 1989, 6% of the fields open burned and 4% of the fields not burned contained blind seed.

Keyword(s): disease survey, seed production.