Wheat Scab Hits Indiana Too

Disease not limited to eastern U.S.

Published on: Jul 14, 2009

Read John Vogel's story here on our Web site about wheat scab problems all throughout the eastern U.S. Then know, as many of you already do, that scab was also a problem in Indiana. The severity depended upon variety and where you lived.


One farmer hoped for 50 bushels per acre but harvested 64 instead. Yields tended to turn out a bit better in Indiana than some who feared the worst thought. But test weights were down in many cases. Sometimes they fell into the low 50s, other times in the high 50s on wheat that's normally into the low 60s. A quick look at most samples reveals many small, somewhat shriveled kernels mixed in amongst normal grains.


Vomitoxin has also shown up here at varying levels. At least one elevator widened the basis to discourage receiving wheat after vomitoxin was detected above the allowable limit in samples coming in to the facility.


One farmer who sprayed Headline fungicide during the season felt that it helped his yield, pushing it into the high '70 bushels per acre range. However, he still had some kernels indicative of head scab in his crop.


The biggest difference and proof that the fungicide was active is in the color of his straw, he notes. His straw remains a bright, true straw color. Buyers who have also bought form others who didn't spray fungicide tell him you can tell to the bale which is form a field that was sprayed with a fungicide, and which isn't.


Our eastern editor's piece discusses the potential effect of vomitoxin on livestock in more detail. He also addresses the issue of head scab on wheat kept for seed. Stay tuned here for advice form Herb Ohm, Purdue University's premier wheat breeder, before planting season arrives.