Barley disease management


Key tools and publications

Identify and manage diseases

There are five main types of disease in barley: seed-borne, foliar, stem-base, ear diseases and viruses. 

AHDB/BASF Encyclopaedia of cereal diseases provides information on how to identify common and less frequently found diseases.

Access the information via the publication or the online interactive version.

Integrate disease control strategies

g59.jpgDisease control takes place from pre-sowing right through to harvest. There are several control options available, including disease-resistant varieties, seed treatments and fungicides.

AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds' Barley disease management guide explains the different types of disease and the control options available.

AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds carries out independent Fungicide Performance testing every year to see how the latest fungicide products perform against key barley diseases.

AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds' Recommended Lists detail disease resistance and performance with or without fungicide.

Manage risk for specific diseases

Rhynchosporium remains the main barley disease in wetter areas of the UK, detailed control strategies are available in an AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds topic sheet.

Ramularia leaf spot has become more problematic in both spring and winter barley crops. Our guidance can be used to improve identification and quantification of ramularia symptoms. This will help farmers and advisers assess the effectiveness of control and devise appropriate management strategies.

Ergot can reduce yields in crops and can cause serious health problems if ingested by humans or animals.


The UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS) monitors yellow rust, brown rust and mildew virulence. It looks at how varietal resistance is affected by changes in pathogen populations.