Virginia Wheat: Head Scab Risk Alert

    If your wheat is flowering, it may be at risk for head scab (Fusarium head blight, FHB).

    FHB is caused primarily by the fungus Fusarium graminearum. Infection of wheat heads with this fungus can result in significant yield loss and contamination of the grain with deoxynivalenol (DON or vomitoxin). Risk of FHB can be determined using the Fusarium Risk Assessment Tool (

    As of today (May 5) many areas in eastern and central Virginia have a moderate FHB risk; portions of the Eastern Shore (Accomack County) have a high risk.

    Early flowering is the best timing for fungicide applications. Prosaro, Proline, and Caramba are the most effective products to reduce FHB and DON. If a strobilurin is applied at or after heading, and IF scab infections occur, DON levels are likely to be elevated compared to a triazole or even an unsprayed check.

    Information on FHB can be found in the Virginia Tech Extension publication Managing Fusarium Head Blight in Virginia Small Grains (

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