Plant pathologist warns farmers to watch for Fusarium Head Blight

Warm, wet weather during wheat flowering should alert farmers to watch for Fusarium Head Blight (FHB).

Nathan Kleczewski, a plant pathologist with the University of Illinois, says Fusarium Head Blight is a fungus that produces vomitoxins causing direct yield loss.

“You will see bleaching typically at the point of infection. You might see heads that have individual spikelets that are infected, or you might see heads that have half of the head infected.”

Kleczewski tells Brownfield farmers should harvest FHB affected fields as soon as possible and dry the grain below 18% moisture so the fungus is no longer active.

“It is a combination of getting those fields out early, making sure they are dry and kept dry, and if possible, trying to separate your fields that are problematic from those that look good and try to keep that grain separate.”

He says symptoms of FHB show up about three weeks after flowering.  

Interview with Nathan Kleczewski

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