Head Scab Beginning to Show Up in WI Wheat

Fusarium head blight (scab) was detected this morning (6/17/08) during a routine survey of our winter wheat variety trial located at Lancaster WI. Given the rainfall and temperatures during flowering this was not unexpected. Since the winter wheat head and foliage are still green now would be a good (easier) time to look for head scab in your area. The easiest way to inspect a field is to stand with your back to the sun and look for bleached heads or white spikelets. Once you identify a suspect head look at the base of each spikelet for a salmon color (image 1). Be careful not to confuse head scab with with hail injury or spikelet abortion as seen in Image 2.

Image 1. Head scab in wheat.

Image 2. Hail injury to wheat.