Brooks (Rural Roots Canada) – It is possible to manage Fusarium Head Blight even after it is taken off the field.

Jeremy Boychyn is the Agronomy Research Extension Specialist for Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley.

He says Fusarium Head Blight cases have been on the rise across the prairies in recent years.

Boychyn says it hurts yield and quality, in turn affecting marketability, which is why storage management is important.

“For storage, you want to have the potential to store infected grain separately; this could help you manage different lots of grain and then avoid putting piles of potentially infected grain on the ground,” Boychyn said.

He says that moisture in the soil is going to get into the kernels and further increase the amount of Vomitoxin (DON) in your grain, so avoid putting that potentially infected grain on the ground.”

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He says it is also important for farmers to get their grain tested.

“Send it to an accredited lab to get it tested for Fusarium as a plate test, as a DNA test to see what levels you are at.”

Boychyn says this will allow the farmer to make a decision about that grain.

“To see how A) manage that crop where you are going to sell it and b) whether you are going to utilize it for next year.”

“If you are going to utilize it, how to best manage it whether you are using a seed treatment or potentially not.”

Boychyn says when thinking about next year’s crops, it’s important to keep a sharp eye for conditions where Fusarium Head Blight will flourish.


He says each province keeps a map of areas that are at high-risk.

“It’s important to get out there, and field check these risk maps.”

Boychyn says if a farmer is walking through at mid-day and their pants are still wet, or it could be the exact opposite.

“If you are seeing a high-risk on the map, but you walk out there, and everything is bone-dry.”

“I would be hesitant to say it’s actually representative of that field.  So it’s important to not just look at the map, but also walk through your crop and see if you are seeing high humidity conditions.”

Boychyn spoke at RRC Virtual Ag Day last July.


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