The change in winter wheat response to deoxynivalenol and Fusarium Head Blight through technological and agronomic progress-Peer-Reviewed
Author: Ruoxi Xia, Arthur W. Schaafsma, Felicia Wu, and David C. Hooker
Xia R, Schaafsma AW, Wu F, Hooker DC (2020). The change in winter wheat response to deoxynivalenol and Fusarium Head Blight through technological and agronomic progress. Plant Disease
Fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat causes yield loss, quality reduction, and mycotoxin contamination in temperate wheat production areas worldwide. The objective of this study was to quantify the progress of agronomic and FHB management strategies during the past two decades on FHB suppression and agronomic performance of winter wheat in environments favorable for FHB. Field experiments were conducted in environments typical in FHB epidemics for comparing common agronomic and FHB management practices used in the 1996 era compared to those used in 2016. The experiments included a comparison of 3 different nitrogen fertilizer (N) application rates, 6 old (1996-era) and new (modern-era) winter wheat cultivars representing combinations of susceptibility-eras to FHB, with and without a fungicide applied at flowering (pydiflumetofen + propiconazole). To mimic environments favorable for infection (similar to 1996 in Ontario, Canada), plots were challenged at 50% anthesis with a F. graminearum macroconidia suspension followed by mist irrigation. The modern management strategy of using moderately resistant cultivars, a fungicide applied at flowering, and a high rate of N fertilizer reduced total deoxynivalenol by 67%, reduced Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) by 49%, reduced FHB Index by 86%, increased grain test weight by 11% and increased grain yield by 31% compared to the standard management practice of seeding highly susceptible (HS) cultivars with no fungicide and a lower rate of fertilizer N recommended in the 1996 era. This study enabled a published economic assessment of the return on investment for the improvements in cultivars, fungicide and N applications since 1996.