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Agronomy Update

Wheat Updates Continued...

Published on Friday, February 10, 2017

Kansas State Plant Pathologist Erick De DeWolf has put out, in my opinion, the most accurate winter wheat fungicide efficacy ratings. You can review it here. In it, he summarizes performance ratings and also provides insight we can utilize as we make plans for fungicide applications on our wheat this year.

In addition to these ratings, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts I had looking back on the 2016 season.

  • Wheat varieties differ in their resistance and susceptibility to disease. Beck’s wheat varieties have relatively strong disease and plant health scores. Some things to watch out for are:
    • Powdery Mildew (PM): There is a chance we might experience PM this year because of the conditions we are experiencing such as denser stands and potentially more rapid growth going into spring. Varieties with lower resistance scores include BECK 88, BECK 123, and BECK 128.
    • Leaf Rust:Varieties with lower resistance scores include BECK 88, BECK 114, and BECK 128.
    • Septoria Leaf Blotch:Varieties with lower resistance scores include BECK 120, BECK 125, and BECK 128.

Understanding varietal differences in resistance helps target your field scouting effort.

  • Last year we saw Stripe Rust develop and progress relatively early in the season. There was a significant difference in fields where an earlier, preventative fungicide was applied and where it was not.

Top: Beck's dealer Paul Coke shows a leaf with initial stripe rust infection diagnosed April 13, 2016 in Pike County, MO. 
Bottom: Wheat field near Frankford, MO on May 2, 2016 showing the difference in severity of Stripe Rust infection between a field  area that received a preventative fungicide and one where the spray boom skipped the fungicide application.

  • The only fungicides labeled for suppression of Fusarium head blight (wheat scab) are Caramba®, Proline®, and Prosaro® . There is a relatively tight window of application where these products are effective in suppressing it.
  • Last year many farmers were concerned with preventing and suppressing Fusarium head blight while having to deal with an early Stripe Rust infection. Because wheat is a “low margin” crop, many farmers did not want to apply fungicide twice to combat these infections. Farmers who applied a lower labeled rate of a preventative fungicide (ex. 2 to 4 oz. of Priaxor®) during stem elongation and before flag leaf emergence (about Feekes 6.5), were able to hold off the Stripe Rust. They were then able to suppress the Fusarium head blight with an application of Caramba, Proline, or Prosaro at flowering.
  • Do not use a single action strobilurin fungicide for Fusarium head blight as it has been shown to actually increase the toxin levels in the infected wheat.
  • Trivapro® from Syngenta is a new product that may be worth considering for some of your wheat acres at as it offers three modes of action and has very high efficacy ratings.

Managing your fungicide plan now is very important for achieving high-yielding wheat. The bottom line is, disease or no disease, fungicide applications are crucial to increasing your return on investment. Your wheat yield potential at the time of application is a key factor in determining whether or not to apply a fungicide. If you have any questions please reach out to myself, your seed advisor or local dealer.










Prosaro® and Proline® are registered trademarks of Bayer. Caramba® and Priaxor® are registered trademarks of BASF. Trivapro® is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.  

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David Hughes

David Hughes

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