The causal agent is seed-borne or soil-borne (survives on stubble). Favorable conditions for spreading include lush grain crops, high humidity, temperatures close to freezing and unfrozen, snow-covered soils. Further spread in to the crop is via the spores, which are transported by wind and rain. The fungus infects the seedling as well as the axils, leaf blades, and ears.
Pink snow mould [Microdochium nivale]
In the fall, pink snow mold can be recognized by corkscrew-like, stunted seedlings or stunted plants with a whitish-pink, cottony mycelium (Picture 1). In the spring, the diseased plants are covered with dirty-white to pale pink mold (Picture 2). Dark brown fruiting bodies can be found on infected tissue. Isolated, large, oval, uniformly pale yellow spots that eventually turn brown can be observed on the plant (Picture 3).
Thorough incorporation of crop residue. Use of healthy seed. Prevention of excessively lush pre-winter growth of fall-sown crops. Well-timed nitrogen fertilization in the spring.
Seed treatment (to control seedling infection). Strobilurin-based fungicides (to control leaf and ear infection).