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Agro-economic assessment of the improvements on the management of Fusarium head blight of wheat

Ruoxi Xia: University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus

<div>Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by <em>Fusarium graminearum</em> (Schwabe) causes yield loss, quality reduction and mycotoxin contamination (predominately deoxynivalenol (DON)) in wheat. This project is aiming to quantify the economic impacts brought by changes in key agronomic and FHB management practices since a major epidemic in 1996. Field plots, conducted in 2017 consisted of treatments representing agronomic and FHB management practices used in 1996 compared with those used today. Three nitrogen rates (N), 5 winter wheat varieties (one historical and 4 current varieties representing varying levels of susceptibility to FHB) and a fungicide applied at flowering (adepidyn & non-treated control) were tested. Plots were challenged at 50% anthesis with spray inoculation followed by mist irrigation. Yield and DON were measured after harvest. Genetic resistance and FHB fungicide individually each contributed approximately 50% to DON reduction compared with non-treated controls, and combined, they resulted in 75% reduction. A fungicide application at flowering increased yield by 14-25% compared to the control. The main effects of genetic resistance and increasing N did not affect yield. These results will be discussed in the context of historical farm survey data where data on agronomic practices, yield and grain mycotoxin concentration for the epidemic years 1996, 2013 and 2015 were collected. Yield and DON will be modelled quantitatively and converted to economic impacts.</div>