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Timing is key for head blight management

A plant pathologist says the application timing of fungicides is key when managing Fusarium Head Blight in winter wheat.

Nathan Kleczewski with the University of Illinois tells Brownfield, farmers have been asking if earlier application can make a difference, but his research suggests fungicide application at flowering is best.

“You can get a reduction in head blight if you go out when the heads are just starting to pop, but it’s not nearly as efficacious as if you got out at a recommended time which is flowering to 5 or 6 days after flowering.”

He says their research also shows there are no significant benefits to using a high rate of fungicide to suppress head blight.

“You can go out at that low rate and it will get you the same amount of suppression as that high rate so it’s really about getting that timing right and making sure you get it out on at the right point in time.”

Kleczewski also shared his research during a virtual Double Crop Farmers Forum hosted by the Illinois Wheat Association and Illinois Soybean Association.

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