Sooty head molds are characterized by a dark green or black mold growth on the surface of mature wheat heads. These molds are part of a naturally occurring complex of organisms that help to decay plant debris. Sooty molds are most common when mature wheat is subjected to repeated rains and delayed harvest. This fungus also may grow on plants that were prematurely killed by root rot. The sooty head mold growth is normally superficial. Its affect on grain is thought to be minor, but it can make for dusty harvest operations. Sooty molds can contribute to a discoloration of the grain called “black point.”

Management: Generally impractical or not needed.