You're no stranger to Fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat, even if you refer to it by the common name of scab. You know it can be detrimental to profits, causing grain with low test weights, lost yield, low germination and mycotoxin contamination.
Though FHB can display disease symptoms, it can be present in a field, harming the crop and yield, even before symptoms are visible and the disease is identified.
When scab is visible in the crop, the primary symptom is the bleaching of some florets before they reach maturity. This causes infected florets to be sterile, or produce kernels that have a shrunken, chalky, white appearance. This appearance has earned them the industry moniker "tombstones."
- Scab infections are present worldwide wherever cereal crops are produced.
- In the U.S., 31 out of 40 states surveyed contained scab-infected wheat.
- During U.S. scab epidemics, yield losses can exceed 50 percent and cost nearly $300 million of profit.
- A particularly devastating scab epidemic in the 1990s cause some growers to burn their scab-rampant fields rather than harvest them, in hopes of reducing the fungal disease down the road.
Few visuals illustrate the effects of scab on grain quality as well as a side-by-side comparison. The two loaves of bread in this picture were baked using the exact same recipe, the same temperature and even the same ingredients — except one. Flour used to make the top loaf was milled from wheat that had been infected with scab, while the bottom loaf was baked with flour from healthy wheat.
It's not uncommon for a wheat grower to assume that products containing strobilurin chemistries, which are very effective at controlling foliar disease, will be just as effective against scab. That's not the case, and poorly timed strobilurin application can, in fact, do more harm to your crop than good.
Yet an answer is available. To prevent scab and dangerous levels of DON (the fungal toxin deoxynivalenol, sometimes referred to as vomitoxin), from cropping up and draining your grain, university extension agents highly recommend using Prosaro® fungicide along with responsible management practices due to its impressive track record:
The Power of Prosaro Fungicide
- As the leading fungicide for fighting scab in the U.S., Prosaro has been rigorously tested, focusing on the performance of its two active ingredients.
- North Dakota State University rates the triazole chemistry in Prosaro as "very good" — the highest among fungicides in efficacy against scab.
- In addition to being the top product in the U.S. for combatting scab, Prosaro is also the standard scab fungicide used in registered European countries.