Warm weather and wet soil have winter wheat growers concerned over the threat of Fusarium head blight (FHB), a devastating disease that significantly impacts wheat quality and yields. Presence of this disease causes the grain to be infested with deoxynivalenol (DON) resulting in contamination of the grain reducing test weight and grade.

FHB risks increase if conditions are wet in the week prior to heading, and shortly after stem heads are fully emerged and flowering.

"Fusarium head blight is the most important wheat disease to protect against, mostly because of its devastating effect on grain quality," says Dr. Trevor Kraus, Technical Specialist with BASF Canada. "Conditions this year are conducive for Fusarium head blight. Using the best fungicide against FHB is the only way to protect your wheat crop from this very real risk this year."

BASF recommends using the new triazole fungicide Caramba as an effective way to manage FHB while delivering control of late season leaf diseases, including rust. In field trials Caramba demonstrated consistent reduction in DON levels and offered improved yields by 2 bu/ac or more over competitors.

Application timing is crucial in maximizing yield potential and reducing DON levels. For winter wheat, apply a triazole fungicide when 75 to 100 per cent of the stem heads are fully emerged and when 40 to 50 per cent of them are flowering. Growth Stage 61 - 63 is the ideal time to manage FHB and leaf diseases for added crop insurance.