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Wheat Growers Follow Best Practices to Manage Fusarium Risk During Flowering

Wheat Growers Follow Best Practices to Manage Fusarium Risk During Flowering

26 May 2014

UK - With the period for T3 ear fungicides approaching for more forward crops, wheat growers are being reminded to follow best practice to track and manage fusarium risk during the flowering period.

Infection of wheat ears by Fusarium species can result in mycotoxin development, particularly when weather is warm and wet at flowering.

Dr Dhan Bhandari, HGCA Research and Knowledge Transfer Manager, said: “HGCA’s mycotoxin risk assessment and guidelines contain best practice information, supported by the supply chain, to help growers manage fusarium mycotoxins.

“The scores in the ‘pre-flowering’ section of the risk assessment are already known as these scores are based on risk events that occurred during or before drilling – such as region, previous crop, cultivation method and variety.

“At present, growers need to deal with the more tricky elements of fusarium mycotoxin risk driven by the weather.”

If high rainfall is anticipated over the flowering period, growers should consider applying a robust dose of a T3 ear fungicide – especially where pre-flowering risk scores are also high.

Spray decisions can also be guided by the fusarium monitoring service provided by CropMonitor (

Dr Bhandari continued: “Every two weeks from GS31, CropMonitor provides details of assessments of fusarium head blight (FHB) levels on untreated wheat plots at five sites located in the ‘high’ risk region.

“The service also indicates the FHB-causing species present, which is informative, as although Microdochium species can infect cereals and cause FHB, these species do not produce mycotoxins.

“But, it is important to remember such services can only provide an indication of risk levels at the monitored sites and risks in particular fields are likely to differ.

“The best way to understand and manage in-field mycotoxin risks is to follow the step-by-step approach detailed in the HGCA risk assessment and, where possible, include actual rainfall figures from each field.

“Rain gauges are an affordable way to ensure accurate measurement of rainfall during the crucial GS59­–69 and GS87–harvest periods”.

To help growers track risk throughout the season, HGCA has updated the mycotoxin risk assessment and associated guidelines which are being sent to growers with the summer (May) edition of HGCA’s Grain Outlook.

TheCropSite News Desk

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