Agronomic factors associated with the development of Fusarium head blight in spring wheat in southeast Saskatchewan
Because of the increasing importance of fusarium head blight (FHB) in western Canada, identification of crop production factors (CPF) associated with the development of this disease is important in devising an effective strategy for its control. A survey of 659 spring wheat crops over four years (1999 to 2002) indicated that environment was the most important factor determining disease development. The CPFs that affected FHB the most were the previous application of a glyphosate formulation (GF), tillage practice, previously-grown crop, and cultivar susceptibility. GF application in the previous 18 months (or 3 years) was significantly associated with higher FHB levels every year of the study; it was the only CPF in 1999, and one of only two CPFs in 2002, that affected FHB indicating that its effects were not influenced as much by environmental conditions as those of other CPFs. In 2000 and 2001, the average increase in the FHB index resulting from a previous GF application(s) was 75% for all crops, and 122% for those under minimum-till management. It is not known if similar effects of GF on FHB would occur in environments different from the ones encountered in this study. Further research is needed to elucidate the nature of the GF-FHB association and underlying mechanisms.
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