Fungicide applications for reducing FHB and DON

WheatStalk_closeup_blogWhile scientists continually looks for ways to create better disease resistant crops, fungicide applications are considered as a potential solution for present problems such as fusarium head blight (FHB) and deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination.

Both Europe and the U.S. have set strict limits for mycotoxin limits including DON contamination in raw grain, which influences the export markets and therefore has the potential for global consequences each and every growing season. As a new season begins, a recent study was published that looks into fungicide applications for Reducing FHB and DON.

The study involved wheat crops over the course of several years, and scientists studied different application mechanisms for spraying wheat with fungicides for controlling FHB and DON. The different mechanisms include spraying by airplane, helicopter and ground.

Results from the experiments showed that aerial application was equivalent to a specific ground application. In addition, the study also looked at best uniform ground applications and found that the present technologies used resulted in very low and uneven coverage by the fungicides.

The study’s authors evaluated several spraying technologies and found that the back of the head seldom received more than 10% coverage, and the front normally about 20%. The study also demonstrated that the traditional and newer spraying technologies generally give low coverage, normally not better than 10%, while aerial application gave only 1–3%.

However, results showed that best uniform ground application was with back-forward nozzles as there was poor coverage with nozzles that were faced forward only. Speed and direction of wind is also important and boom height is critical to counteracting wind effects, the study states.

The author’s of the study concluded that this data indicates that poor coverage may be a major cause of the generally poor efficacy experienced in many fungicide trials. For these reasons, the author’s felt that farm scale testing of better nozzle types was very important.

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