Wheat fields in parts of southern Illinois are just beginning to head out and flowering will begin very soon in these fields. The current risk of Fusarium head blight (FHB) for southern Illinois is low. As long as the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, heads will remain relatively dry and FHB risk will continue to be low. However, rain is in the forecast for the next few days for these areas, so risk could be elevated in the near future.
If the decision is made to apply a fungicide for management of FHB, it is important to use the most effective products and to target the most appropriate timing. Research at the University of Illinois and other universities has shown that Caramba and Prosaro fungicides are the most efficacious fungicides available in reducing FHB and the associated mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON; a.k.a "vomitoxin"), that can contaminate grain. The best fungicide application timing for FHB management is when flowering is beginning to occur (Feekes growth stage 10.5.1), when anthers are beginning to extrude from the middle part of the wheat heads.
--Carl Bradley, Associate Professor / Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Illinois
For more details, go to the FHB Risk assessment tool at http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu