What agronomic practices can reduce the effect of Fusarium head blight on durum wheat in Saskatchewan?
Fusarium head blight (FHB) has become an important disease of cereals in moist regions of western Canada. This disease has played an important role in contributing to lower grain yields and substantial downgrading of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum). The objective of this study, conducted at three locations on the Canadian prairie, two in Saskatchewan and one in Manitoba, from 2001 to 2003, was to determine the effect of seeding density, nitrogen supply, fungicide treatment, and durum wheat cultivar on FHB development, grain quality, grade protection and economic return. A four-way factorial design was used with two seed densities (150 and 300 viable seeds m-2), two nitrogen rates (75 and 100% of recommended rate), three cultivars (AC Avonlea, AC Morse and AC Navigator), and four fungicide treatments (no application, Tilt at flag leaf, Folicur at anthesis and Tilt at flag leaf followed by Folicur at anthesis). Increasing the seed density decreased FHB at 4 out of the 7 site year when FHB occurred, however increasing the seed density tended to increase leaf disease severity. The application of Folicur did not affect Fusarium levels. The application of Tilt and /or Folicur decreased leaf disease at 6 out of 9 site years and affected yield at 5 out of 9 site years. There was no consistent effect from nitrogen or cultivar.
Fusarium head blight
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