Wet weather brings cereal seeding delays and high risk for Fusarium head blight

Difficult seeding, altered cropping rotations, and wet soil conditions may put additional quality concerns on Western cereals this year

Mississauga, ON, June 22, 2011 – Difficult seeding, altered cropping rotations, and wet soil conditions may put additional quality concerns on Western cereals this year.  Flooding and high moisture from the recent spring weather has further raised risks for yield and quality-threatening crop diseases, including Fusarium head blight (FHB) – a devastating disease that infects cereal grain with deoxynivalenol (DON), resulting in reduced grades.

According to Robert Hornford, Technical Specialist with BASF Canada, Fusarium head blight is the most important disease for cereal growers to protect against. “Conditions this year are once again potentially conducive for Fusarium head blight. Using the best fungicide against FHB before symptoms appear is the best way to protect your crop from this very real risk,” he says.

FHB risks increase if conditions are moist and warm after stem heads are fully emerged and cereal crops are flowering. Hornford recommends using tolerant wheat varieties coupled with Caramba fungicide to effectively manage FHB and other late season leaf diseases, including rust.  In field trials, the new triazole fungicide Caramba, from BASF, demonstrated the greatest and most consistent reduction in DON levels and offered improved yields by 2 bu/ac or more over competitors.

Application timing is crucial in maximizing yield potential and reducing DON levels. For wheat, oats and rye, apply when 75 to 100 per cent of the stem heads are fully emerged and when 40 to 50 per cent of them are flowering. For barley, apply up to three days after full emergence of head stems.

“Results show that applying Caramba is the single best way to insure your crop against Fusarium,” says Mike Bakker, Brand Manager for Fungicides at BASF Canada. “With record high commodity prices, it’s not a good year to risk the value of your cereal crop.”

More information about Caramba is available at

About BASF Crop Protection Division

With sales of €4.0 billion in 2010, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at or follow us on twitter:

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