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The Efficacy of Fungicide Application to Control Fusarium Head Blight Infection in Spring Wheat

Abstract

There is a high demand for locally grown wheat for baking purposes throughout the Northeast. Currently, there is not enough grown in the region to meet this demand. One major obstacle for growers is Fusarium head blight (FHB) infection of grain. This disease is currently the most important disease facing grain growers in the Northeast, resulting in loss of yield, shriveled grain, and most importantly, harmful mycotoxin contamination. A vomitoxin called Deoxynivalenol (DON) is considered the primary mycotoxin associated with FHB. The spores are usually transported by air currents and can infect plants at flowering through grain fill. Eating contaminated grain greater than 1ppm poses a health risk to both humans and livestock. Fungicide applications have proven to be relatively effective at controlling FHB in other spring wheat growing regions. Limited work has been done in this region on fungicide application to spring wheat specifically to minimize FHB and ultimately reduce DON mycotoxin production. In April of 2016, the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program initiated a spring wheat fungicide trial to determine the efficacy of a conventional fungicide application to reduce FHB infection on cultivars with varying degrees of disease susceptibility

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