Wheat School: Taking aim at fusarium head blight

Syngenta agronomist Brad Garlough.

Fungicides can deliver a strong defence against fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat, but how the product is applied in-crop plays a key role in determining whether growers successfully protect those valuable wheat heads.

On this episode of the RealAgriculture Wheat School, Syngenta agronomist Brad Garlough shares fusarium application insights and best practices accumulated from research trials and working directly with growers. He says spraying for fusarium is normally the last pass in a wheat field and it’s crucial to effectively paint the wheat head and allow the fungicide to protect grain yield.

For Garlough, nozzle selection is a critical decision for spray applicators. The sprayer model and a number of other factors will impact the nozzle choice and it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. His top choice is a 3D nozzle that sprays front and back and alternates from side-to-side to ensure the product covers the entire head. (Story continues after the video.)

The nozzle also plays a critical role in producing the right spray droplet size. Over the last three years the biggest surprise Garlough has seen in his application work is the number of growers who “fog on” fungicide at FHB timing. Unfortunately, too often he sees a combination of wind and sprayer speed that causes finer droplets to often drift and miss the head. He notes that the┬áright nozzle will give growers the coarse and extra course droplets required to hit their target.

In the video, Garlough shares research he conducted this year on why it’s so important to factor in wind speed when setting the pressure level on the sprayer. He’s a big fan of water sensitive paper and how it can help fine-tune sprayer calibration. He demonstrates how it can easily be used to assess sprayer performance and determine whether both the front and back of the wheat head is being adequately covered.

Garlough also offer tips on water volumes, sprayer speed, and how growers can make the most of advanced spraying technology when they buy new rigs coming market.

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