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2020 Freeze and Fusarium Head Blight Put Wheat at Risk

June 1, 2020
This agronomic image shows Wheat crop during the mid-season.

Wheat crop during the mid-season.

You’re no stranger to the complications that unpredictable spring weather can bring. In early May, many parts of KY had their second freeze since April, experiencing variable damage in wheat crops. Plus, the persistent humid weather created a conducive environment for Fusarium head blight (head scab), making the crops vulnerable to further yield loss and decreased test weight.

To protect your profit potential from environmental pressures and head scab, consider taking these actions:

  • Scout fields for damage: Now is a good time to assess how your wheat yield may be impacted from the freeze. While scouting, dissect the kernel from the wheat head to see if it’s damaged. Kernels that are no longer developing will appear shriveled and wrinkled due to the loss of high moisture content.
  • Prevent head scab infection: With yield losses of up to 45% recorded, head scab is a key wheat disease for which preparation is needed. The University of Kentucky Extension experts say if seeds are viable and the yield loss from a freeze is minimal, a fungicide application can still help protect yield quality and profitability.
  • Choose a fungicide with application flexibility: Planning for an effective head scab application can be difficult with weather delays and varying growth rates within and across wheat fields. Using a fungicide with a flexible application window, like Miravis® Ace fungicide, helps alleviate the stress of applying on time and helps protect both the main heads and tillers from disease.

Powered with Adepidyn® technology, Miravis Ace delivers longer residual control of head scab, allowing for earlier applications at 50% head emergence up to flowering.

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