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New wheat varieties fight fusarium

Agronomy tips... from the field

Looking at new wheat varieties for 2017? Yield, standability, as well as protein and maturity will still be top of mind. And for many, fusarium tolerance will also be high on the list.

Fusarium is now established across Western Canada, and in years when environmental conditions favour the disease, it can have devastating impacts on grain yield and quality — as we saw in 2016.

Fortunately, cereal breeders have been working to improve fusarium tolerance. There are several recently released varieties of hard red spring wheat with superior genetics that continue to improve on yield while helping you manage disease, improve grain quality, and reduce grain mycotoxin levels.

Genetic tolerance alone isn’t a silver bullet, but rather an important foundation for your integrated fusarium control strategy that should also include crop rotation and fungicides.

Choosing a new variety also brings all the benefits that come with using certified seed including assurances around purity, germ, and seed-borne fusarium levels.

Certified seed and a quality seed treatment maximize plant stands and early season vigour for a more competitive and even crop. This will result in a more synchronized heading, which is beneficial if a fungicide at heading is required for fusarium.

Dr. Bryan Ulmer, is a cereals product evaluation scientist with Syngenta Canada.

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