The heavy moisture we have received over the last week, combined with high temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s F this week have pushed winter wheat growth stages. We have seen seen rapid stem elongation with flag leaves emerging in some fields in the southern and south central regions of Wisconsin. We continue to find wheat with little foliar disease. However, we are entering a critical time to make our first important fungicide decision related to protecting emerging flag leaves from foliar disease. Continue to scout. Weather has been conducive for some foliar diseases. However, wheat continues to remain "clean" then hold your fungicide application until anthesis.
A fungicide may be needed especially on susceptible cultivars to control FHB and reduce DON (vomitoxin) contamination. The fungicides Prosaro or Caramba have both performed well on FHB in Wisconsin. Timing of application of these products is critical. I would urge you to wait until anthesis has begun in your field before applying. We have observed poor control where application of these effective fungicides were made before anthesis. In fact, we have observed improved control of FHB and lower levels of DON in finished grain where fungicide application was delayed 4-5 days after the beginning of anthesis, compared to applications at the start of anthesis. Also, remember that application of fungicides should be made no later than 6-7 days after the start of anthesis. After this time, fungicide efficacy on FHB and DON control is much reduced.
Get out there and SCOUT, SCOUT, SCOUT and monitor the FHB Prediction Center!
--Damon Smith, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison
For more details, go to the FHB Risk assessment tool at http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu
For the latest news and updates from the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative, go to https://www.scabusa.org