An early June spot check among small grain specialists shows that the incidence of Fusarium graminearum - the chief cause of Fusarium Head Blight or head scab - ranges from very low to quite serious in the Midwest. The most series developments appear to be in Nebraska and Kansas.
In a report from Stephen Baenziger, a small grains breeder at the University of Nebraska, it was noted that much of central and eastern Nebraska had been continuously wet through the wheat flowering period. As of June 10, scab was common in his nurseries at Lincoln and Mead. He also saw what may be scab on what at McCook in the southwestern part of the state. If confirmed that would be as far west as he has seen scab in that state, and "would extend our range of potential damage," he says.
For Kansas, Erick De Wolf, an extension plant pathologist with Kansas State University, says scab was being found at trade levels in central Kansas. This is a region where the disease has been rare in the past.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, a research specialist there reports the disease is present. And further east in Illinois, scab symptoms were just starting to appear.
You can learn more about the incidence of scab nationwide by visiting www.scabusa.org