Field surveys were conducted in North Gondar zone during 2018/19 main cropping seasons to determine the prevalence, incidence and severity of major wheat disease and to investigate association of disease parameters with crop management practices. In 4 districts a total of 120 wheat producing farmersâ€™ fields were surveyed. Disease incidence and severity varied across and within districts. Wheat leaf rust, stem rust, yellow rust, loose smut and wheat septoria glume blotch were the most dominate and frequently occurring diseases of wheat. Variables such as, altitude, growth stage of the crop, planting method and weeding practice were significantly associated with wheat leaf rust, wheat stem rust, and wheat yellow rust and wheat septoria glume blotch diseases. The highest mean severity of wheat leaf rust (51.8%) and wheat stem rust (45.3%) were recorded at Gondar zuria district whereas the highest mean severity of yellow rust (33.6%), loose smut (26.2%) and septoria glume blotch disease (20.2%) were recorded at Wegera district. Therefore, leaf rust and stem rust severity were higher in surveyed fields with at mid-altitude whereas yellow rust, loose smut and septoria glume blotch severity was higher in areas with at high-altitude. Among growth stages, the highest severity of those disease were recorded on fields during flowering than tillering stage. North Gondar zone of northern Ethiopia, which are more favorable for the development of cereal rust and smut disease epidemics. Our findings indicate that proper weed management and manipulation of plant growth stage are interventions that can reduce the impact of wheat disease in Ethiopia. Therefore, integrated disease management options should be developed for the future for those major diseases of wheat.
Keywords: wheat leaf rust, wheat stem rust, wheat yellow rust, loose smut wheat septoria glume blotch, disease incidence, disease severity