Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Wheat Fusarium Head Blight or Scab

Posted by romeethredge on April 17, 2015

Last year,2014, was the worst Fusarium Scab we have ever seen here on wheat.  We had rainy warm conditions during flowering (just as heads emerged) and everything hit just wrong.  This time we were dry when most of the wheat here was heading, so we are hoping not to see much this year. But now that conditions have worsened in terms of being favorable for the disease, we need to be thinking about it. Some growers may decide to apply fungicides but they must be applied at the right time, preemptively, and may just give us some suppression.

There is a Fusarium Head Blight Prediction Center that is showing as you see below a high risk now for our area. Go to the site and click on Georgia to get more info.  Fullscreen capture 4152015 112901 AMHere is a list of some of our wheat varieties and their resistance to this problem.

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Dr. Alfredo Martinez, UGA Plant Pathologist, gives these wise words concerning the use of chemical control. “Control using fungicides can be difficult due to the specific time the fungicides need to be deployed and because selection of fungicides labeled for FHB is limited. Timing of fungicide applications is crucial for the control of FHB. Foliar sprays must be applied at the first sign of anthers extruding from the wheat (anthesis). Triazoles work best when applied right before or at early flowering on the main stem heads. The use of nozzles that provide good coverage of the spike is essential for proper disease management. The fungicides labeled for FHB disease-suppression only are listed in Table 3”

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Here is what the heads look like if affected. This is from last year.

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