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Better Farming Prairie: Reading FHB Resistance Ratings

January 6, 2023 — 

An article by Maria Antonia Henriquez, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Curt McCartney, University of Manitoba in the November/December 2022 issue (page 14) of the magazine Better Farming Prairies featured research at the University of Manitoba into Fusarium head blight resistance research. It reads:

Have you ever wondered what goes into the Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance ratings found in the provincial seed guides? Learn how these ratings are made as well as any activities related to breeding wheat varieties with improved FHB resistance.

FHB is an important disease of wheat, barley, corn, rye and oat. The fungus Fusarium graminearum is the main cause of FHB of wheat in Western Canada. The main in-crop symptom is premature bleaching of spikelets of the wheat head and can also include pinkish fungal growth on the head, small dark spots and dark discolouration of the rachis and stem below the head. FHB causes both yield and grain quality losses.

Yield losses result from aborted and small Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDKs) being blown out the back of combines during harvest. Larger FDKs are retained in the harvested grain resulting in downgrading at the elevator. FDKs are chalky white to pinkish in colour and are often shriveled.

Read the full story here.

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