Locally grown grains, such as wheat and barley, are in high demand in the Northeast for both livestock feed and human consumption. Hard red spring wheat is most commonly used for bread flour. One major challenge that grain growers encounter is infection by disease-causing fungi, such as the fungus Fusarium graminearum, whose spores can infect plants from flowering until grain fill. Fusarium head blight (FHB) can shrivel grain, decrease seed germination, decrease yields, and contaminate grains with mycotoxins. The primary mycotoxin of FHB is deoxynivalenol (DON), a vomitoxin. If DON concentrations are above 1 ppm, they may pose health risks to humans and livestock. While humans should not eat grains with DON concentrations above 1 ppm, some livestock can consume grain with up to 10 ppm DON, depending on the animals species and proportion of their diet which includes DON contaminated grain. Fungicide applications have proven to be relatively effective at controlling FHB in spring wheat in other growing regions. Limited work has been done in this region on the optimum timing for fungicide application on spring wheat to minimize DON. There are also a lack of studies evaluating biofungicides, biochemicals, or biostimulants for the management of FHB that are approved for use in organic systems. In 2018, the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils (NWCS) Program conducted a spring wheat fungicide trial to determine the efficacy and timing of fungicide application to reduce FHB infection and subsequent mycotoxin production on hard red spring wheat cultivars with varying degrees of disease susceptibility.


Vermont, University of Vermont, spring wheat, fhb, fusarium head blight

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