GFM Network News


Premature bleaching of infected spikelet in wheat.

Now is the time to create next year’s battle plan for fusarium

Scouting this year is the first step in limiting the impact of the cereal disease next year

Although it’s likely too late to apply a fungicide for fusarium graminearum, producers can still use the information they gather about the outbreak to plan for subsequent growing seasons. Fusarium graminearum is considered the most important fusarium head blight (FHB) species due to its aggressiveness and production of deoxynivalenol or DON (a.k.a. vomitoxin), said crop […] Read more

A sample of the graph which shows whether the area around a weather station is at low, 
moderate or high risk for fusarium.

Fusarium risk map launched in Alberta

Available on weatherdata.ca, the information is a tool to help producers decide whether fungicide is needed

The provincial government has launched a mobile-friendly tool that will allow cereal producers to measure their fusarium head blight risk. “Fusarium became a huge issue in Alberta last year,” said Brian Kennedy, grower relations and extension co-ordinator at Alberta Wheat Commission, which also worked on the tool. “It’s been sneaking up on the province for […] Read more


Given the severity of fusarium infestation across Western Canada, crop scientist Brian Beres says it’s puzzling why more farmers aren’t growing winter wheat to disrupt the disease cycle.

Fusarium is tough, but you can fight back, says crop scientist

Planting winter wheat and bumping seeding rates can help, but fungicides aren’t a silver bullet

The forecast is for more fusarium — and possibly a lot more if it’s another wet year. “As you know, the severity and incidence of fusarium is actually on the rise — if we continue to get the weather that we’re getting, we can expect the same,” Agriculture Canada research scientist Brian Beres said during […] Read more

In a 2010 survey, fusarium head blight was found in 13 counties in southern Alberta. 
By 2015, the disease had spread north into 22 counties.

Even a dry year didn’t slow fusarium’s invasion

Many expected fusarium levels to drop last year, but instead it spread 
east and north and was worse in the south

Despite dry weather in 2015, fusarium head blight was found in almost twice as many counties as it was in 2010. A province-wide survey conducted by provincial scientists detected fusarium graminearum — the pathogen that causes fusarium head blight in cereals — in 22 counties in Alberta, up from 13 counties in the 2010 survey. […] Read more


Vigilance is the key to keeping fusarium at low levels in Alberta, says a provincial crop specialist.

Don’t let down your guard when it comes to fusarium

Provincial crop specialist says seed testing and using seed treatment are critical

Fusarium head blight outbreaks can cause significant losses in grain yield and grain quality, while also resulting in the production of mycotoxin-Deoxynyvalenol that affects livestock feed, the baking and milling quality of wheat and the malting and brewing qualities of malt barley. That’s why producers need to be vigilant, even if its rate of infection […] Read more

No ‘silver bullets’ for fusarium — but you can reduce your risk

Longer crop rotations, resistant varieties, and — as a last resort — 
fungicides are the partial weapons in a weak arsenal

When it comes to fusarium head blight, cereal growers tend to suffer from NIMBY syndrome — ‘not in my backyard.’ “Over the years, we’ve heard many comments that ‘it’s a Manitoba problem — it’ll never be a problem here in Alberta,’” federal research scientist Kelly Turkington said at the recent Agronomy Update conference. “But in […] Read more


One area of research the funding will  applied to is fusarium head blight resistance in spring wheat.

Alberta Wheat Commission funds research

The Alberta Wheat Commission is investing $970,000 over five years in 13 wheat-related research projects. Projects include: effectiveness and appropriate timing of plant growth regulators; fusarium head blight resistance in spring wheat; development of soft white spring and general purpose spring wheat with higher yield potential; influence of genotype, weather, growing environment, and crop management […] Read more

Fusarium graminearum survey underway

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is conducting a survey on Fusarium graminearum to help better manage the disease. “For example, if you’re trying to prevent the introduction of the organism in an area, there are certain things you can do, but if it’s already there, the prevention practices aren’t going to work,” said provincial plant pathologist Michael […] Read more