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Submitted by Mid Atlantic S… on 12, Apr 2024
Welcome to the wheat and barley heading and flowering season, Maryland! This is the first FHB risk forecast for this season from me, and I will continue to provide you with regular commentaries over the next 6-7 weeks. Wheat is some weeks away from flowering, but barley is starting or will soon start to head, especially in the Eastern shore of the state. Unfortunately, for barley, there are no FHB-resistant varieties available so far. So, if you have planted barley, keep monitoring closely for the FHB risk over the next couple of weeks. With the rainy spell of the last week, and some more rain forecasted this week, currently, the Epidemiological models are showing elevated FHB risk over the next 6 days. So, if your barley is starting heading you might consider applying fungicides on it. If you are still some weeks away with your barley heading, keep monitoring for the risk. Remember, the best stage for applying FHB fungicides on barley is when the heads are completely out of the boot s. The FHB fungicides are triazole-containing products (Miravis-Ace, Prosaro, Prosaro-Pro, Sphaerex). Do not apply strobilurin-containing fungicides. Wheat is not at a stage susceptible to FHB susceptible right now.

Some barley growers from across the state also reported stunting, yellowing, and death of barley plants in their fields. The most probable cause of this issue in my opinion is freeze injury. Sudden dips in temperature after the plants caught up after winter may have led to the issue. I have discussed this issue with the other regional pathologists from the US, and they also report similar issues in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York. They also think it to be a result of cold injury.

--Nidhi Rawat, Small Grains Pathologist, University of Maryland