Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Wheat Head Blight

Posted by romeethredge on May 16, 2014

We are seeing wheat head blight in many fields. Fungicide sprays after the fact won’t help. The damage was done during flowering, according to Dr. Alfredo Martinez, UGA Plant pathologist.

Nothing we can do now except harvest early,  turn up the air during harvest and separate bad fields.

Dr. Dewey Lee’s, UGA Grains Scientist, comments concerning Fusarium head blight. “I believe yield loss will be severe in some fields depending on many things.  The infection process of FHB begins when the anthers extrude beyond the glumes and are infected by Fusarium.  It requires the type of weather we had this year, lots of rain, wet conditions during flowering with moderate temperatures.  Infected flowers either abort or develop kernels that are typically shriveled and may demonstrate a pink discoloration (from the mycelium).  The pathogen will produce a mycotoxin, DON (deoxynivalenol).  This fumonisin is often rejected in the market at level above 2 ppm.  Because of this, I urge you to encourage your growers to blow as much air as possible to take out the lower test weight/shriveled grain.

My suggestions is to harvest as early as possible and make sure to separate bad fields from your good fields.”



The kernels on the left are affected and shriveled. Notice the pink coloration.


Agent Nick McGhee has a good article about this on the Nochaway Ag Blog that can be accessed here.


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