Fusarium Head Blight Update – June 13, 2011

While most of the wheat in Wisconsin has flowered, there are still areas where flowering will occur over the next few days to week. I just spoke with Mike Ballweg in Sheboygan County and wheat closest to the lake is in the Feekes 10.2 to 10.4 range, meaning 1/4 to 3/4 of the inflorescence are visible. A check of the Fusarium head blight forecast from June 12 indicated that there were a few pockets around the state where the risk was higher than we have seen earlier in the week. In particular, along Lake Michigan, there is a moderate to high risk and this risk remains moderate to high over the next 24-48 hours. Forecast temperatures indicate cool conditions in this area and there are scattered chances of rain over the next few days. Another factor to consider is that in this part of the state over the past few years, we have heard many reports of dockage or rejection of grain due to Fusarium head blight. This is an area where much of the wheat has followed corn silage, so noting what your previous crop was can also help determine if the risk of infection may be higher. Make sure, however, to check closely the wheat growth stage before making a decision to apply a foliar fungicide since timing is critical for suppression of the FHB and fields may vary greatly in terms of flowering especially as you move inland from the lake. Please see our earlier postings and articles about different foliar fungicides for suppression of FHB as well as pre-harvest intervals based on products.