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Wet conditions could mean high risk for fusarium head blight

The risk of fusarium head blight in cereal crops has been high this year.

David Kaminski is a field crop pathologist with Manitoba Agriculture.

"In most places it's been on the wetter side," he said. "In fact, in some places there's been a lot of heavy showers recently and that certainly drives the humidity in those crops, especially in the overnight period. Although, it has been cooling off quite a bit overnight and perhaps the temperature is dropping out of the range that's favourable to infection. So far, it's probably too early to say how much we might be seeing as far as infection, especially in the unsprayed condition."

Kaminski noted he surveyed a few winter wheat fields in the southwest part of the province at the beginning of last week

"They were approximately two weeks after flowing, so just beginning to turn colour. Of the ones that were sprayed, we saw very low level of fusarium and there was one field that had been unsprayed and it had a fusarium index of about two per cent. Which, if that was harvested for grain, it might show up in the harvested sample."

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