Wheat Fusarium Head Blight

Fusarium graminearum is a fungal disease which affects wheat, barley, and oats. Although all of these crops can be affected, wheat infection is the main concern in our area. The impacts of Fusarium are found in reduction of yield, shrunken kernels, grade of grain, and rejection of wheat for milling purposes. Fusarium infected wheat contains mycotoxins, which reduces the marketability of the grain and may cause toxicity when fed to livestock. The County is readily monitoring for signs of Fusarium throughout the season and is involved with Alberta Agriculture through an annual survey in addition to the field surveys we already perform.

Disease Life Cycle

What To Look For

Seed effects
Head infection Degrees of head infection

Prevention

There are many management strategies you can use to prevent the spread of Fusarium graminearum. These include:

  • Plant seed with no detectable level of Fusarium graminearum
  • Avoid continuous or short rotations with cereal crops
  • Use resistant varieties when possible
  • Increase seeding rates
  • Apply fungicides to provide suppression of fungi
  • Before exiting infected fields, thoroughly clean equipment