Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

By: Ben Stoller

As wheat flowering will soon be upon us, it is time to be considering the possibility of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), or scab.

The fungus that causes FHB infects wheat during early flowering, at Feekes Growth Stage 10.5.1.  Symptoms that appear later include bleached head spikelets and shriveled or small grain kernels.

Photo courtesy of University of Kentucky    Photo courtesy of University of Illinois    Photo courtesy of Ohio State University

Moist, warm and humid conditions contribute to FHB infection.

Penn State University has developed a model that utilizes pertinent weather information such as rainfall, humidity and temperature to calculate risk of FHB.  This model has been updated for 2015, and now includes a feature to estimate risk based on susceptibility by wheat variety.  The model can be found at the following link: .

Wheat growers can also enroll in alert notifications via cell phone or email from the U.S. wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.  Sign up for alerts by visiting this link: .

For growers wishing to be proactive about control of FHB, certain fungicide applications can be made at early flowering for suppression or control of scab.  Prosaro® (Bayer CropScience) or Caramba® (BASF) has been found to be effective on scab control when applied at early flowering (timing is critical).  Fungicides that have a strobulurin mode of action are not labeled for head scab suppression.

Contact your local Mercer Landmark agronomy specialist to schedule your wheat for fungus control and to aid in proper timing application.

Article information was derived from Purdue Cooperative Extension Service Pest & Crop Newsletter, Issue 6,May 7, 2015.

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