Weather conditions across much of Western Canada may be favourable for disease development this season. The increased moisture in late fall and over the past winter, combined with rainfall levels in many growing areas throughout the 2020 spring season means favourable conditions for disease development in those areas.
Leaf diseases, including Tan spot, Septoria leaf blotch and Powdery Mildew can be identified early in the season. Tan spot and Septoria start on the lower leaves of the plant and work their way up. Early disease onset for Tan spot can be identified as pale blotches on the leaves with more advanced infection appearing as tan and dark colouration. Powdery Mildew can also be identified by fuzzy grey blotches. If leaf diseases reach the flag leaf, growers will be faced with reduced yield and smaller grain size.
Fusarium head blight infection starts with anthesis (flowering) in wheat. Fungal spores infect the developing kernel, drastically reducing the growth. Unfortunately, the disease isn’t noticeable until the plants begin to ripen and can be seen as the premature whitening of the wheat florets on mature plants. The kernels within the florets are typically shrivelled Fusarium-damaged kernels. Sometimes pink fungi can also be seen on the kernel.
Fusarium causes serious grain quality issues and financial losses – as kernels become damaged, downgrading quality and making grain difficult to market. High DON (deoxynivalenol) levels, produced by fusarium, cause issues in livestock feed, making grain marketing an even bigger problem. Fusarium losses are serious, often more than $1B annually in Western Canada.**
**Canadian National Millers Association
Fungicide application at the right time can protect the crop from infection and loss of grade and reduce the incidence of Fusarium-damaged kernels. Industry studies have shown consistent return on investment, yield increases and a reduction DON and Fusarium-damaged kernels.
Sourse: 2008-2019 Bayer Wheat DSTs. NOTE: All products not in all trials. Assume product SRP, $6/bu wheat and $5/ac application. Chart shown in bu/ac over an untreated check.
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With more than 50 fungicides in the market it can be confusing to find the right one for the job. Our staff can help you navigate the options to find you the best fungicide that will provide you with the best return on your investment. Visit your local retailer for more information.