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USWBSI PUBLICATIONS

USWBSI's Impact  Posted:  03/17/16

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FHB/DON/MYCOTOXINS

Fungicide Application/Uniform Trials/Integrated Management Studies

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Uniform Nursery Reports Reports for past 5 years.


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Forum Proceedings

National FHB Forums Other Conferences
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2002-03
2000-01
1999
1998
7th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight (Nov. 27-30, 2011)
6th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight (Nov. 1-4, 2009)
3rd International Symposium on Fusarium Head Blight (Sept. 1-5, 2008)
5th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight (Nov. 27-30, 2007)
4th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight (Nov. 1-3, 2005)
2nd International Symposium on Fusarium Head Blight (2ISFHB) (Dec. 11-15, 2004)
       The 2ISFHB Symposium was hosted by the USWBSI.

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Web-based Articles (Last posted article: October 2016)

Scab´s Impact Low in Majority of U.S. Wheat & Barley Areas in 2016

USWBSI Survey of Small Grains Specialists Indicates Weather Again a Major Factor in Presence or Absence of Disease

As is usually the case, in-season weather played a key role during 2016 in the development, or lack thereof, of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB, also known as “scab”).  Reports provided to the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative by small grains specialists in a number of states indicate that FHB incidence and severity levels were generally quite low this year.  The same conclusion applies to levels of deoxynivalenol (DON), the vomitoxin associated with Fusarium Head Blight.  Several regions (e.g., the Midwest and Central Great Plains) experienced very minimal scab problems, with some states achieving record wheat yields coupled with excellent quality.  A few areas (e.g., northern North Dakota) did contend with serious DON this year, however.

The reports also underscore once again that an integrated approach to FHB management — planting scab-tolerant or –resistant cultivars, applying appropriate fungicides at the proper time, and avoiding crop rotations conducive to scab development — usually pays off for those farmers who employ that strategy.  [Read more..]

FHB in 2015: A Vexing Year, Overall

USWBSI Survey of Small Grains Specialists Shows Wet Conditions Again a Key Contributor to Scab Problems in Several States

As in previous years, in-season weather played a big role during 2015 in the development, or lack thereof, of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB, also known as “scab).  Reports provided to the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative by small grains specialists in a number of states reveal a mixed bag when it comes to FHB incidence and severity levels.  However, it’s apparent that more states wrestled with significant scab problems this season, compared to 2014.  The same conclusion applies to levels of deoxynivalenol (DON), the vomitoxin associated with Fusarium Head Blight.

The reports also confirm once again that an integrated approach to FHB management — i.e., planting scab-tolerant or –resistant cultivars, applying appropriate fungicides at the proper time, and avoiding crop rotations conducive to scab development — continues to pay off for those farmers who follow that tact.  [Read more..]

Scab Management:  It Takes an Integrated Approach

When it comes to managing Fusarium Head Blight (commonly referred to as "scab") in wheat and barley, university small grains specialists emphasize that the best approach is an integrated one focusing primarily on the planting of moderately resistant varieties and the use of effective fungicides.

"No individual approach is 100% effective at reducing scab — and particularly reducing vomitoxin," says Pierce Paul, Wooster-based plant pathologist with the Ohio State Extension.  "Fungicides provide about 50-60% control, while resistance provides about 50% control relative to the susceptible checks.  To get the best control, you have to integrate multiple strategies, with fungicide and resistance being the two main ones."  Seeding into fields previously planted to non-cereal crops reduces the risk of increased inoculum pressure; also, Paul and his group have been researching the value of harvesting strategies that help improve the quality of the grain harvested from scabby fields.  [Read more..]

Small Grains Genotyping Labs Help Breeders Develop & Release Improved Cultivars Faster

Ask most people what a "genotyping lab" is and why its work is important, and you’ll be rewarded with a blank stare.  Ask a wheat or barley breeder the same question, and you’ll receive a succinct reply — and one delivered with conviction.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) operates four regional small grains genotyping laboratories.  Though their work is highly technical, the core mission of these labs, in layman’s terms, is to: (1) develop new molecular marker technologies; (2) implement effective strategies for their application in the breeding of small grain crops; (3) provide breeders with access to state-of-the-art molecular technologies; and (4) help maximize the efficiency of small grain breeding programs by speeding up the process of new cultivar release.  [Read more..]

DON:  Keeping a Mycotoxin in Check Through Ongoing Research, Sound Sampling & Producer Awareness

Along with potentially lowering crop test weights and yields, the presence of Fusarium Head Blight (scab) in wheat or barley fields can simultaneously lead to development of a mycotoxin called deoxynivalenol (DON) in those grains. Depending upon the level of DON (also known as "vomitoxin") in it, a load of grain may be discounted – possibly even rejected – at the local elevator or other delivery point.

Why the concern about DON? Dr. James Pestka, Michigan State University distinguished professor of food sciences and human nutrition, says his research and that of others has shown that DON and other related toxins can impair growth and cause nausea and vomiting in animals — and, potentially, in humans. "We have found that DON mediates these effects by targeting both gut and immune function," Pestka relates.  [Read more..]

FHB in 2014: From Nonexistent to Severe

As in past years, planting date and in-season weather once again were key factors during 2014 in the development, or lack thereof, of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB, also known as “scab”). Similar to 2013, reports provided to the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative by small grains specialists in a number of states reveal a broad range of scab incidence and severity — from “nonexistent” to “severe.” The same applies to levels of deoxynivalenol (DON), the vomitoxin associated with Fusarium Head Blight.

The state reports consistently also indicate that an integrated approach to scab management — i.e., planting scab-tolerant or –resistant varieties, applying appropriate fungicides at the proper time, and avoiding crop rotations conducive to scab development — continues to pay off for those farmers who follow that methodology.   [Read more..]

Assessment Tool & Alert System Help Growers Control Scab in Wheat & Barley Fields

U.S. wheat and barley producers have incurred billions of dollars in economic losses to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) across the past couple decades.  Fortunately, substantial progress has been made in the battle against FHB, which is commonly referred to as "scab."  Moderately resistant varieties are now available, certain fungicides offer good levels of control when applied correctly and at the appropriate time, and other management practices also can help producers minimize their losses in years when scab threatens their crops.

Still, these are tools; none is a panacea providing simple and complete protection against scab.  So the research – much of which is supported by the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) – continues.   [Read more..]

Initiative Aids Progress in Development of Barley Varieties with Improved Scab Resistance

One of the world’s oldest cultivated grains, barley currently is the fourth most important global cereal crop after wheat, rice and corn.  Within the United States, 3.0 million acres of barley were harvested in 2013, with more than 215 million bushels produced. The crop is utilized in three primary ways: as malt for the making of beer and other beverages; for human consumption; and for animal feed.

Like wheat, however, barley production faces threats from a myriad of diseases - one of the most important being Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), or scab.    [Read more..]

Scab Initiative’s Support Key to HRS Wheat Variety Development

Wouldn´t it be wonderful to wave a wand at a serious crop production problem and see it magically disappear?  That’s not the way things happen, of course - be it in agriculture or any other sector of life.  So, the next best approach is to gain a better understanding of the issue, develop improved tools to deal with it - and then mount a hard-hitting campaign focused on overcoming whatever challenges the problem presents.

That´s exactly what has been transpiring among Upper Midwest plant breeders as they combat Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) or scab, a disease that has caused billions of dollars in damages to U.S. wheat and barley crops since the early 1990s.  Serious scab infections result in lower yields and test weights and also often trigger formation of a primary mycotoxin known as DON (short for deoxynivalenol).  [Read more..]

FHB in 2013: From Benign to Serious

The importance of weather in the development, or lack thereof, of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB, also known as "scab") was again evident during the 2013 small grains production season. After a generally benign scab year in 2012, reports provided to the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative by small grains specialists in a number of states reveal a broad range of scab incidence and severity from - "nonexistent" to "serious." The same applies to the degree of deoxynivalenol (DON), the vomitoxin associated with Fusarium Head Blight.

Farmers in several states increasingly appear to be utilizing an integrated approach to scab management, planting scab-tolerant or -resistant varieties, spraying appropriate fungicides on a timely basis and reducing rotations conducive to scab development. However, in some states, the employment of scab-resistant varieties appears to be lagging. [Read more..]

Fusarium Head Blight a Minimal Issue in 2012

The abnormally dry conditions that prevailed across numerous U.S. states during the 2012 small grains growing season resulted in many disappointing yields. But the dry weather simultaneously brought at least one beneficial effect: minimal problems with Fusarium Head Blight (scab) and vomitoxin (DON). Very few areas had significant issues with this disease in 2012.

A recent survey by the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) of university small grains specialists in several states tells the 2012 story. Here’s an overview of this year’s scab scenario, by region. [Read more..]

Fusarium Head Blight in 2011: An Overview

Several states experienced low to virtually non-existent problems with Fusarium Head Blight (scab) during the 2011 U.S. small grains production season, while a few others incurred significant disease incidence and crop loss. As always, growing season weather played a large role in the disease’s status; but so too, on an expanding basis, has the use of FHB management tools like varietal selection, fungicide applications and crop rotation.

A recent survey by the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) of university specialists in several states tells the story. [Read more..]

Fusarium Head Blight in 2010: An Overview

The incidence and severity of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) during the 2010 U.S. small grains production season was - when summarized across the major wheat and barley growing areas - fairly low.

Yet ‘hot spots’ did develop in various states, according to a recent U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) survey of university small grains specialists. [Read more..]

USWBSI Co-Chair Outlines Initiative's Recent Progress & Current Challenges

For the farmer currently confronting Fusarium Head Blight (scab) in his fields, "incremental progress" in research aimed at understanding and controlling this disease may seem a rather empty term. The same goes for the miller or exporter faced with unacceptable levels of vomitoxin/DON in wheat or barley coming to market.

But in the real world of production agriculture, where "silver bullet" solutions to serious problems seldom exist, steady incremental progress is a good thing. It means there´s movement in the right direction, and it implies a continued chipping away at scab´s detrimental impact on affected wheat and barley producers and buyers. [Read more..]

VIGS System Promises to Hasten Development of Varieties Resistant to Fusarium Head Blight

VIGS is not the name of a new candy bar. But it does have all the makings of a sweet ingredient in the ongoing effort to control Fusarium Head Blight (scab) in wheat and barley. [Read more..]

Wheat Grower & USWBSI Co-Chair Reflects Upon Scab Initiative´s Origin, Progress & Challenges

Tom Anderson brings a particularly valuable perspective to the campaign against Fusarium Head Blight (scab). First, he´s a Minnesota wheat grower whose own farm has been seriously impacted by this disease. Second, he was instrumental in obtaining initial federal and state of Minnesota funding for scab research in the mid-1990s. And third, he has served as co-chair of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) since the group´s establishment in the latter ´90s. [Read more..]

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Guidelines for USWBSI PIs for the acknowledgement of federal funding support to be included in publications and presentations:

If a presentation or submitted publication is the result of funding (full or partial) received from USDA-ARS through the USWBSI, acknowledgement of this support must be included in one of the following formats (examples below):

Funding received in the form of an extramural research agreement (i.e. grants awarded to universities):

"This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. (insert ARS agreement number here). This is a cooperative project with the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative."

All such materials must also contain the following disclaimer unless the publication is formally cleared by USDA:

"Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

USDA-ARS scientists who received funding through the USWBSI:

"This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is a cooperative project with the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative."

All such materials must also contain the following disclaimer unless the publication is formally cleared by USDA:

"Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

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