Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) Found in Lancaster and Saunders Counties

Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) Found in Lancaster and Saunders Counties

Fusarium head blight on a wheat head Wheat heads showing varying levels of Fusarium head blight severity

Figure 1. Fusarium head blight (scab) on a wheat head at the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, June 6.

 

Figure 2. Wheat heads showing varying levels of Fusarium head blight severity, June 6.

 

black chaff on wheat heads Figure 3. (left) Black chaff on wheat heads at the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, June 6.

 

June 6, 2008

Photo of leaf streaking caused by black chaff in wheat.
Figure 4. Leaf streaking caused by black chaff.

On June 6, Fusarium head blight (Figure 1) was found in a grower's field in Lancaster County and in research plots at the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead in Saunders County. Incidence (percentage of infected heads) was approximately 2% and severity (percentage of spikelets infected on a head) ranged from trace to more than 50% (Figure 2).

Fusarium head blight can be controlled by applying a fungicide at early flowering. Once symptoms appear in a field, it is too late to apply a fungicide to suppress the disease. Fungicides registered for suppression of Fusarium head blight include Proline, Folicur, Caramba, and Tilt.

Also found in both locations was black chaff, a bacterial disease favored by wet weather. Black chaff darkens glumes (Figure 3) and also causes streaks on leaves (Figure 4). Black chaff is controlled by planting certified, pathogen-free seed.

Stephen Wegulo
Extension Plant Pathologist
John Hernandez Nopsa
Graduate Student