North Carolina produces about 15 million acres of small grain annually, most of which is soft red winter wheat harvested for grain. Statewide average yields range from 36 to 42 bu per acre. The largest and most intense production is in the eastern Coastal Plain. Oats and barley are produced on about 22,000 and 15,000 acres, respectively. NC oats are grown primarily for forage purposes. Diseases are limiting factors in small grain production.
The relatively warm winters and humid growing season in North Carolina are conducive to foliar fungal diseases and insect-transmitted viruses. When prices and yield potential justify the costs, foliar fungicides are used for foliar diseases. Seed treatments to help control fungal diseases and viral vectors are very commonly used.
Some additional web sites:
More information about disease in small grains is available from the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic or Tom Melton.