The Agronomists, Ep 113: Hitting the fusarium target with Drs. Dave Hooker and Tom Wolf

It’s time to talk fusarium control — by zeroing in on an upright, narrow target.

Achieving excellent coverage of a wheat head is a huge challenge, so to talk about better control and spray technology, this episode of the Agronomists brings together Dr. Dave Hooker, with the University of Guelph-Ridgetown, and Dr. Tom Wolf of Agrimetrix and Sprayers 101, with guest host Kara Oosterhuis.

This episode of the Agronomists is brought to you by ADAMA Canada, the Wheat School and RealAg on the Weekend!

SUMMARY

  • Surprise! Kara is the host today
  • It’s pretty dry in Ontario, and oh yes, out west. Hello wild fires!
  • Saskatchewan has actually got some rain
  • Grasshopper pressure out west is climbing
  • May has been cool and dry for the southwest of Ontario
  • What does this all mean for fusarium risk?
  • There was frost in parts of Ontario
  • Fusarium is a yield eater, but also a quality killer
  • Is this year a lower risk year?
  • The biggest threat is fusarium graminearum, and the toxin it creates: DON
  • DON is really bad for monogastrics and humans
  • Nozzle selection is really important to target the head
  • Angles matter!
  • Air induction tip, there are lots of options
  • Pulse width modulation (PWM) has a new option, ultra coarse
  • Is that too coarse for fungicide? Because we’re targeting the head
  • Twin isn’t required, but you want to paint both sides of the head — forward and back
  • Flood jets forward and back can get you there, new work shows
  • Fungicides are effective, but coverage matters!
  • Water sensitive paper is your friend in evaluating coverage
  • Low booms, angle spray, coarse = trifecta
  • What about faster driving?
  • The forward facing nozzle does the heavy lifting
  • Boom sway gets you, but then the wind wins
  • Get that boom lower, if you can
  • Sprayers 101 has an insta account everyone
  • Clip 1: Painting the head
  • What about weather? Hot and dry
  • Fusarium needs moisture
  • We don’t have fully resistant varieties
  • There are three periods to think about, to gauge risk
  • There is ONE to think about for control: protect the head!
  • High temps can reduce risk (above 32 degrees C), super cool does too
  • There are provincial risk maps for the Prairie Provinces
  • The window might be a little later than we first thought
  • Is 2023 a fusarium year? Perhaps not, but stay vigilant
  • Yield results are staggering when risk is high and the fungicide pass is done well
  • Even in a dry year, a fungicide pass will offer a yield response
  • Stay green, grain fill window
  • DON accumulation in wheat can happen late in the season. Get it out of the field
  • Get that sprayer ready! Don’t get caught out
  • Agronomy is the right thing at the right time, so you have to be ready
  • Have product on hand
  • What about aerial application? It gets it done. If timing is the challenge a pass is best, regardless
  • Remember fungicides are suppression only
  • Clip 2: What else can you do?
  • Does a healthy crop “fight off” disease better?
  • More uniformity matters, and in-furrow phos can help that
  • Water volume matters, too, allows for coarser droplets
  • Streaky, stagey wheat — how do you manage the timing? Watch the weather
  • What about split apps? Two passes with half rates, please no. But spray twice with full rate, yes
  • Focus on the main head for staging

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