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Controlling wheat smut

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  • Thirty years ago American flour millers knew our Pacific Northwest as the wheat smut center of the world. As much as 50 per cent of all cars shipped graded smutty. Losses were high; millers and farmers alike demanded that something be done. Scientists and others interested in wheat went to work on the problem along with our farmers and millers. In 1924 half our exported wheat was smutty. By 1942 testers found smut in only 2 per cent of all cars shipped. This was the all-time low point for smut damage. Since then smut has made a steady comeback in the Northwest. For the past six years, wheat inspectors have marked SMUT on more and more cars of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho wheat. In 1948, 14 per cent of the cars graded smutty. The wheat smut problem is back. Farmers, scientists, and millers must once more go to work on it. Unless we do, losses will once more run high. We are still the potential wheat smut center.
  • Revised July 1950. Facts and recommendations in this publication may no longer be valid. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog:
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