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Plan Ahead for Lurking Head Scab and Septoria Pathogens

November 7, 2019
This agronomic image shows head scab in wheat.

Fusariam head blight (head scab)

The yield-robbing wheat diseases that can chip away at your bottom line don’t disappear after your combine rolls. Excessive rain this year created the perfect conditions for pathogens to thrive, increasing the amount of inoculum that could overwinter and reemerge in 2020. To stay ahead and protect your yield and profit potential, it’s important to proactively prevent diseases from making another guest appearance in next year’s crop.

While planning for 2020, here’s a recap of wheat diseases to look out for after an extremely wet season.

Fusarium head blight (head scab)

Head scab is a common disease with the potential to tank yield and cost you at the elevator if deoxynivalenol (DON) levels are high. Symptoms of head scab can include bleached spikelets, pink spore accumulation and shrunken, pink/grayish kernels in severe cases. According to research from North Dakota State University, Fusarium-infected kernels can appear normal in size with mild discoloration and still have harmful DON levels. Head scab infection can occur from heading to the hard dough stage, but is most common at flowering. Don’t wait to treat head scab. If conditions are right for head scab development around flowering, consider a powerful preventive fungicide application.

Septoria leaf blotch

Infections begin as small, water-soaked lesions on the lower leaves of the plant and mature into pepper-like grains (pycnidia). Severe infection can lead to poor grain quality and lightweight, shrunken kernels.

If your fields have a history of head scab or other wheat diseases, you can get a head start on next season by planning to apply Miravis® Ace fungicide. It offers preventive and curative defense with superior potency and residual control. With the power to control head scab as early as 50% head emergence up to flowering, you’ll be able to spray earlier and also protect yield and ROI potential from other foliar diseases.

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