Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FHB Risk Low, But Will This Last?

Don Hershman, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Kentucky

Early wheat varieties are now headed out and some are flowering in southern Kentucky. In many other fields, wheat is in or entering the head emergence stages. FHB fungicides will begin to be applied about the middle of next week and will continue for about 2 weeks. Presently the risk is low across Kentucky, but rains being forecast for this weekend and mid next week suggest to me that the FHB risk could change rapidly. Recent warm conditions with adequate soil moisture have likely encouraged the FHB fungus to become active in residue and I sense that any significant rainy period over a 2-3 day period could prompt spores to be released. If this occurs in the vicinity of or downwind to a fully headed wheat crop, the FHB risk could be considerable. If I had a decent wheat crop and it would be fully headed by this weekend to mid next week, I would seriously consider spraying an FHB fungicide, such as Caramba or Prosaro just before, at or up to five days after the target 10.51, early flowering timing. The risk map is green for now across KY, but I do not think that status will hold. I hope I am wrong.

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