Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a serious problem for Canadian farmers, especially those growing wheat, barley, oats, and corn.

This fungal disease can severely affect crops, especially durum wheat and barley, by attacking the developing kernels and reducing the overall quality and quantity of the harvest.

Worse, it produces a toxin called deoxynivalenol, or DON, which can make the grain unsafe for eating and for use in food production.

But there is a way to fight back. Keep it Clean, an initiative encouraging farmers to take charge of crop health, recommends a proactive approach to managing FHB. This means keeping a close eye on your crops and looking for the right growth stage to act, rather than waiting to see the damage.

One effective way to protect your crops is by using foliar fungicides. These are special treatments that can help prevent FHB from taking hold.

The best time to apply these treatments is during periods of high risk, which usually occur when it’s hot, humid, or rainy during the crop’s flowering period. FHB can infect crops quickly under these conditions, sometimes in just three days.

For those in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, there’s even more help available. Farmers in these provinces can use new Prairie-wide FHB risk maps found online. These maps offer up-to-date information on the risk of FHB, helping farmers decide the best time to act.

By understanding and addressing FHB early in the season, Canadian farmers can better protect their crops.

This not only leads to a healthier harvest but also ensures that the grains remain safe and high in quality, keeping the farming business strong and sustainable. It’s all about staying informed and ready to act to keep Canadian agriculture thriving.


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