The wheat scab risk assessment tool (www.wheatscab.psu.edu) uses weather conditions for seven days leading up to flowering to wheat head at flowering to calculate the risk of scab. Once a flowering date is selected, the map will show color changes corresponding to the relative risk in your part of the state, with red indicating high risk, yellow moderate risk, and green low risk.

To aid in the assessment of scab risk and interpretation of the risk tool, your state extension specialist will provide commentaries at the bottom of the risk maps. As the wheat growing season progresses, commentaries will be updated regularly to inform producers of the risk of scab occurring as weather conditions change and the crop begins to flower. These comments will help users assess risk both on the map and local observations made by the state specialist and extension educators. The commentary will also provide information regarding observations of crop growth, weather patterns and other diseases of importance in the state.

In addition to the commentaries on the scab website, the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (www.scabusa.org) just launched SCAB ALERT. With scab alert producers, crop consultants, grain processors and others in the wheat industry can stay up-to-date on the scab situation, even when they are away from their fields and computers.

According to Dave Van Sanford, co-chair of the USWBSI, SCAB ALERT was developed to provide advance notice of the risk of a scab outbreak by way of cell phone to those who sign up for the service. You can sign up by going to scabusa.org/fhb_alert.php and you will receive real-time alerts via cell phone and/or email based on the commentaries provided on the scab risk tool by state specialists. You can customize SCAB ALERT to meet your needs by choosing what you want to receive (by regions) and how it should be sent to you (cell phone, email or both).

Another tool now available to help you manage scab is SCAB SMART. At www.scabsmart.org you will find information on best management practices for scab using Fungicides (timing and application technology), variety resistance (based on data from our wheat performance trials), crop rotation, residue management, planting date, and harvest practices.

SOURCE: Ohio State University C.O.R.N. newsletter.