The Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture has issued a statement reminding spring wheat growers that the crop is most susceptible to fusarium head blight in the week following head emergence.
Conditions in the next few days will have a large effect on the degree of fusarium damage present at harvest, as infection is promoted by wet weather and warm temperatures when the crop is at a susceptible stage.
Preventative fungicides properly applied can reduce, but not totally control, the amount of infection in the crop. To be effective, registered fungicides need to be applied in the days between head emergence and early flowering, and the spray needs to cover all sides of the seed head.
Later in the growing season fusarium head blight in wheat can be recognized by the premature bleaching of part of the head. This may also be accompanied by the development of an orange or pink mould on the kernel.
Fact sheets with photographs are available on the Department of Agriculture website www.gov.pe.ca/agriculture/fieldcrops.