The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) says that while the eastern Prairies experienced high levels in 2008, the overall presence of fusarium head blight in the central and western Prairies remains low.
In a release April 16, the commission said that based on results from its harvest sample program, the 2008 crop year saw a considerable increase in wheat samples from Manitoba that received lower grades due to fusarium-damaged kernels. By contrast, in western Saskatchewan and Alberta, fusarium levels remained very low, typical for this wheat-growing region of Canada.
The commission said wet conditions in Manitoba last July during the main flowering period for wheat created an environment well suited for fusarium head blight.
Manitoba accounts for slightly more than one-tenth of the total Canadian wheat harvest, and about half of that was degraded due to fusarium.
The result was that although Manitoba experienced very high levels of fusarium-damaged kernels last year, the overall quality of the western Canadian wheat harvest remains mostly unaffected.