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Are You Prepared to Control Fusarium Head Blight Next Season?

February 9, 2021
This agronomic image shows Fusarium head blight in wheat.

Fusarium head blight in wheat.

At the start of each year, take time to take a hard look at your wheat management program. While disease concerns may not be at the top of your list, it’s never too early to make plans to protect your next wheat crop, especially where Fusarium head blight (head scab) is concerned.

According to plant pathologists with North Dakota State University (NDSU), head scab can cause significant losses in both yield and quality. While damage from this disease can vary widely each year, planning ahead for head scab can pay off in the long run. As you make your disease management plans for 2021, keep these tips top of mind for next season:

  • Plan before planting. If you practice tillage, be sure to bury residue after growing small grains or corn to help reduce the potential of infecting wheat in the next season. If possible, rotate crops away from small grains and corn. You can also choose wheat varieties with some level of head scab resistance.
  • Assess head scab risk. Specialists with the University of Tennessee Extension recommend using the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative’s Fusarium Risk Tool for updates about head scab risk. To see state-specific wheat disease assessments, you can also use the NDSU Small Grains Disease Forecasting Model and the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers Scab Epidemic Risk Model. If conditions are right for head scab development or your fields have a history of head scab, consider applying a preventive fungicide to protect your crop.
  • Choose a fungicide with a flexible application window. Weather delays and varying growth rates across the field can throw a wrench in your application plans. By using a fungicide with a flexible application window, like Miravis® Ace, you can take the stress out of controlling head scab and protect both the main wheat heads and tillers for maximized yield potential.

Consider Miravis Ace to get a head start on head scab in 2021. With applications as early as 50% head emergence up to flowering, Miravis Ace gives you more freedom to spray on time and get effective disease control in your fields.

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