South Dakota: Predicting Head Blight in Small Grains

National FHB Prediction Center

The National Fusarium Head Blight Prediction Center has an online tool that estimates the likelihood of FHB development in wheat (Figure 1). This tool uses weather information to predict the risk for FHB.

The website will first show a regional view and the most recent date. The user can select a state and zoom in to their location. Users can also click on an individual weather station near their growing area and find the FHB prediction for that area. Users can assess their scab risk for winter or spring wheat. On the map, yellow means the risk for scab development is moderate and red means the risk is high. When the scab risk is moderate or high, growers should plan to use a triazole fungicide treatment in the short window around flowering (within 3 days before and within 6 days after flowering).

Figure 1. Sample output centered on South Dakota from the National FHB Prediction Center.

SDSU Climate and Weather Center

The SDSU Climate and Weather Center hosts the small grains disease model for the prediction of FHB and other foliar fungal pathogens. The FHB prediction results are displayed in a table for each location that is selected (Figure 2).

The SDSU tool also predicts tan spot and leaf spot diseases and leaf rust by tracking daily weather conditions that are conducive for their development. For tan spot and Stagonospora/Septoria blotch, accumulating six consecutive days with conducive weather would indicate that these diseases are likely to develop. For leaf rust, development will depend on whether or not there are reports of it in the neighboring southern states. When these tools are used in conjunction with scouting, producers can benefit in two ways; spraying when it is really necessary to protecting yield, or avoid spraying and saving an unnecessary fungicide application.

Figure 2. SDSU Small Grains Disease Prediction Tool output table for Fusarium head blight.

Current weather conditions are conducive for Fusarium head blight (FHB, scab) development. Although very few wheat fields are beginning to head, producers need to be aware of FHB risk from heading to flowering. There are two tools in place to help producers, crop consultants, and agronomists gauge the risk for FHB.


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