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The Prairie Giants Crop Report

Field observations at your fingertips

July 2, 2020

Taylor Kurtenbach

Welcome to the Prairie Giants Crop Report! We’ll be breaking down our observations from the field into a concise, semi-regular report.

Fusarium Head Blight in Cereals
With the recent rains and warm temperatures, it’s time to start thinking about applying  fungicide on your cereals! Fusarium head blight is a fungal disease with the potential for significant yield loss and grade reduction. Common in wheat, it can also be present in barley, oats, corn, and other cereal grains. Infected kernels are small, shrivelled, and chalky white in appearance. 

The fungus overwinters on crop residue, releasing spores. The spores are spread by wind and water to the head of plant where infection occurs. High moisture and temperatures (25-30°C) during anthesis (flowering) increases the risk of disease development. 

Want to know the current risk in your area? Check out these risk maps. 

Manitoba:
https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/seasonal-reports/fusarium-head-blight-report.html

Saskatchewan:
https://saskwheat.ca/fusarium-resources

The optimal time for you to apply wheat fungicide is at the T3 timing or Z 60 to Z 64 growth  stages. Keep a look out for when heads are fully emerged until 50% of the heads are in flower as fungicides are registered for this point in plant growth. Applications can be made later than this – but are not ideal. 

In barley, fungicide application should occur when 75-100% of the heads on the main stem are fully emerged and up to 3 days after. 

Check this link out for fusarium timing in wheat and barley:
https://www.cropscience.bayer.ca/~/media/Bayer%20CropScience/Country-Canada-Internet/Products/Prosaro/FHB-timing-guide.ashx 
Apothecia

Sclerotinia Stem Rot in Canola
Sclerotinia stem rot is the most destructive canola disease – here is some information to help with the always tough spraying decision.

Sclerotinia symptoms are first seen as soft, watery rot on leaves and stems; the plant may also wilt and die if the stem is girdled. Infected plants at podding are bleached, and hard sclerotia bodies can be found in the stems.

These sclerotia bodies can last in the soil for several years (5+ years!), waiting for ideal conditions to germinate into apothecia (small mushrooms). Adequate rainfall and moderate temperatures (15-25°C) are required for germination. The apothecia release airborne spores, ascospores, that land on petals and can travel kilometers, from field to field. Canola petals provide a nutrient source for spores to germinate into hyphae, the fungal phase of the disease. These infected petals drop onto branches and leaves causing the disease to spread throughout the canopy.

Not sure when to spray? Canola Council has a “Sclerotinia Stem Rot Checklist” to help you with this decision. The checklist considers rotation, previous disease incidence, crop density, weather conditions and apothecia present. Apothecia is difficult to find – do not solely base your decision to spray or not on this factor. If your score total is greater than 40, a fungicide application may be beneficial. 

Remember, we are always here as a resource to help you navigate fungicide season!

Sclerotinia Stem Rot Checklist: 

https://www.canolacouncil.org/media/516526/canola_disease_scouting.pdf

Fungicide applications can be made during 20-50% bloom; this can be determined by the total amount of open flowers on the main stem. Your goal with fungicide application is to cover the greatest number of petals before they drop. Early flower infection results in the highest losses; late flower infection tends to result in less damage. A keen eye and timely applications will help ensure the best return for your hard work!  

Need help determining bloom stage? Here is a handy guide:
https://www.cropscience.bayer.ca/-/media/Bayer-CropScience/Country-Canada-Internet/Growers-Tools/Resources-and-Guides/bloom-staging-guide.ashx

Check out our Resources page on our website for all these links and more!

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