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A Look at FDK & DON in Winter Wheat Varieties

In 2014, a study was initiated to evaluate how winter wheat varieties being tested post-registration by MCVET respond to fusarium head blight under non-misted conditions (natural infection) by assessing harvested samples for fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation. The results from 2014 can be found here: Winter Wheat Varieties Response to Fusarium Head Blight in 2014 and Effect of Fusarium Head Blight on Winter Wheat Varieties in 2014.

2015 Results. With funding from Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc., the study continued in 2015. Composite samples of eight registered winter wheat varieties were collected from the three replicates at four MCVET sites: Carman, Hamiota, Melita & Minto.  BioVision Seed Labs in Winnipeg, Manitoba conducted the analysis. The level of FDK (%) was measured as per the Official Grain Grading Guide of the Canadian Grain Commission. The accumulation of DON (ppm) was measured using the ELISA test method.

The variety Emerson, rated as Resistant (R), had lower levels of FDK and DON compared to the other varieties (see Figure 1).  Some varieties rated as Susceptible (S) consistently showed higher FHB severity, FDK and DON levels across all sites. However, data also shows there is variability of performance within the five resistance categories of Resistant (R) to Susceptible (S).

Figure 1: Average Levels of Fusarium Damaged Kernel (FDK) and Deoxynivalenol (DON) by Winter Wheat Variety at Four MCVET Sites in 2015

2015-average-don-fdk-at-four-mcvet-winter-wheat-sites

Figure 2: Fusarium Damaged Kernel (FDK) and Deoxynivalenol (DON) Comparisons at Four MCVET Sites for Winter Wheat Varieties in 2015.

2015-fdk-don-comparisons-at-four-mcvet-winter-wheat-sites

 

2016 Results. In the 2016 Manitoba Fusarium Head Blight Survey, the average FHB index for winter wheat was 2.7% which was slightly below the 10-year-average (3.1%).  Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. again is providing funding to have the MCVET winter wheat varieties tested for FDK and DON. Analysis is currently underway and results should be available for the Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. Annual General Meeting on March 15, 2017.

Summary. Extensive research over the past 20 years shows using multiple management options, including crop rotation, fungicide application and variety selection, is the best way to mitigate the risk of FHB. Although FHB infection will always be highly influenced by environment, the first step is to select varieties with improved resistance and then use them in combination with other management strategies. In years where there is higher disease pressure, such as 2014, variety selection will be critical to minimize the impact of FHB on yield and quality. However, under high disease pressure yield and quality loss due to FHB can still happen in varieties that have improved resistance as resistance does not equal immunity.

Remember, caution must be used with one year of data, as presented here. Using data derived over two or more growing seasons over multiple sites is always recommended to provide the best indicator of variety performance.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Special thanks to: Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. for providing funding to conduct FDK & DON analysis; BioVision Seed Labs who conducted the FDK and DON analysis; Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team (MCVET) & contractors who provided the harvested samples.

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2016 Manitoba Fusarium Head Blight Survey

The following are the results of spring and winter wheat fields surveyed for Fusarium head blight (FHB) by Manitoba Agriculture Staff. Fusarium head blight was observed in nearly every field surveyed (97% of winter wheat fields surveyed and 93% of spring wheat fields surveyed). The average FHB index for winter wheat in 2016 was 2.7% which was slightly below the 10-year-average (3.1%). The average FHB index for spring wheat in 2016 was 2.4% which was slightly above the 10-year-average (2.2%).

Winter wheat:

FHB was observed in 30/31 fields surveyed.

Region # Fields Surveyed Average Incidence Average Severity Average FHB Index
Central 13 18% 19% 3.6%
Eastern/Interlake 13 11% 16% 2.6%
Southwest 5 6% 11% 0.6%
MANITOBA 31 13% 16% 2.7%

*No winter wheat fields in the Northwest region were surveyed

Spring wheat:

FHB was observed in 50/54 fields surveyed.

Region # Fields Surveyed Average Incidence Average Severity Average FHB Index
Central 17 29% 12% 3.9%
Eastern/Interlake 17 8% 11% 1.1%
Northwest 10 7% 8% 0.7%
Southwest 10 23% 19% 3.9%
MANITOBA 54 17% 12% 2.4%

 

Submitted by Holly Derksen, Field Crop Pathologist, Manitoba Agriculture

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Is Manitoba’s Winter Wheat Crop Set Up to Survive Winter?

The most common question I receive over the winter months related to winter wheat production is “How is the cold weather/warm weather/lack of snow impacting my winter wheat?” Unfortunately, there are no easy answers over the winter months as we typically have to wait until spring when winter wheat breaks dormancy and stand establishment is known.

However, there can be a few key factors during fall establishment and weather conditions over the winter months that can provide guidance in terms of assessing weather and its impact to Manitoba’s winter wheat prior to the crop actively resuming growth next spring.

First step: record crop condition prior to winter. The crop stage and health/vigour of the crop as it heads into winter will provide an indication if the crop has a high chance of surviving the winter with minimal winterkill or winter injury. Ideally plants should be at the 3 leaf to 1 tiller stage and have well-developed crown tissue (and of course established into adequate standing stubble to ensure snow catch). And remember, the stage of crop development in the fall influences not only winter survival, but also yield potential, crop competitiveness, maturity and the risk of infection with diseases such as rust and fusarium head blight.

Second step: note the weather after seeding and prior to winter. Cool conditions in the fall where plants grow for 4 to 5 weeks, followed by 4 to 8 weeks (October to November) of growth that allow plant to acclimate and vernalize, is the ideal situation (relates back to an optimum seeding date of the first couple weeks of September). Read more about cold acclimation and vernalization here: http://cropchatter.com/winter-wheat-survival-impacted-by-fall-management-decisions-the-weather/. Another key weather factor is open field conditions with little or no snow cover until freeze-up as this allows soil temperatures to gradually decline to freezing levels.

If your winter wheat crop and the fall weather met the above conditions, your crop is likely well-positioned to survive Manitoba’s winter.

Third step: record any weather stresses over the winter months. In the fall, winter wheat producers can take all the necessary steps to set their crop up to survive winter with minimal winterkill or injury. However, it is often the winter/early spring weather in Manitoba that can impact winter survival.  Producers should take notes of cold snaps (how long they lasted, when did they occur) and the snow cover during those events to gauge potential impact to their winter wheat crop.

Regardless of the amount of cold acclimation, we typically need to receive good snow cover to protect the crop from the sustained cold temperatures normally seen in January and February in Manitoba. The ideal situation would be a minimum of 4 inches of trapped snow cover through December to early March to buffer soil temperature changes and provide protection to the crown tissue.

To assist with recording any soil temperature stresses, there is real-time monitoring of soil temperatures in the four winter wheat fields across Manitoba (see http://cropchatter.com/monitoring-real-time-soil-temperatures-in-manitoba-winter-wheat-fields/). The data will also be made available in the near future to the Winter Cereal Survival Model website at https://www.wheatworkers.ca/wcsm.php which can provide additional information on potential injury due to cold soil temperatures.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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Monitoring Real-Time Soil Temperatures in Manitoba Winter Wheat Fields

Over the past three winters, Manitoba Agriculture through the AgWeather Program has been measuring soil temperatures real-time in winter wheat fields.  The monitoring of soil temperatures can provide an early indication if there is a concern for winter injury or winterkill.  The earlier a problem is identified or suspected, we are able to provide that information to industry so careful assessment of acres occurs in the spring.

There are 4 Manitoba Agriculture AgWeather Program weather stations measuring real time soil temperatures in winter wheat fields.  The sites are at Crystal City, Kleefeld, Oakburn and Virden.  Bookmark the link: ftp://mawpvs.dyndns.org/Tx_DMZ/WWST2016_17.png

In the coming weeks, the data will also be made available to Western Ag for their Winter Cereal Survival Model, available at the following link: http://www.wheatworkers.ca/FowlerSite/winter_cereals/WWModel.php.

I would highly recommend taking the time to read instructions on how to use the site and interpret the results.  Click here for instructions on how to use the model.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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Can Stripe Rust Overwinter in Manitoba?

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: Normally in Manitoba, the majority of our inoculum blows in from the central US states by what is known as the “Puccinia Pathway”. However, according to Dr. Brent McCallum, a Research Scientist with AAFC in Morden, MB, there was evidence of both stripe and leaf rust overwintering on winter wheat in Manitoba a few years ago but at such low levels it wasn’t a concern. Dr. Kelly Turkington, a Research Scientist with AAFC in Lacombe, AB, also indicated overwintering of stripe rust occurred in Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan in 2010/11 where there were measurable losses. In that particular year, there was a breakdown of resistance in the 2010 planted winter wheat crop and that led to higher infections into 2011.

So yes, stripe rust can overwinter. However, the ability of stripe rust to overwinter in Manitoba, or elsewhere, would depend on factors such as the severity of the winter and snowfall amounts.

If stripe rust is seen in the fall, take note of the variety and its resistance rating. Although nothing can be done about variety selection at this point, in the future consider stripe rust resistance when evaluating and selecting winter wheat varieties. Genetics….it’s a fast and easy way to protect your crop from disease pressure!

If winter weather conditions allow for overwintering of stripe rust, it could provide a local source of inoculum early in the spring – as early as the crop starts actively growing. A cool, wet spring could also favor spread and infection of stripe rust, not only to winter wheat but to other crops such as spring wheat.

If you do see stripe rust this fall in your winter wheat crop, mark those fields as ones to watch as soon as the crop breaks dormancy next spring. If stripe rust does overwinter, a fungicide application may be necessary.

Should a fall fungicide application be considered?

There has been some recent research conducted looking at the yield response and economics of a fall fungicide application in winter wheat. From 2011 to 2013, researchers from AAFC conducted a study across Western Canada looking at a variety of management factors, including one looking at a fall fungicide application. Results were recently reported in Top Crop Manager at http://www.topcropmanager.com/business-management/improving-winter-wheat-19554. The following statements are from the article.

In regards to the fall fungicide treatment, “the study showed some benefit from the fall foliar fungicide treatment, however the increase was small and resulted in decreased net returns,” says Turkington (who was involved with the study). “In areas with confirmed stripe rust in the fall, the yields gains were a bit better. However the cost of application is prohibitive at this point compared to no application. ”

More research is currently underway by Turkington and Dr. Randy Kutcher (University of Saskatchewan) looking at a fall fungicide application, a spring fungicide application at flag leaf emergence, and a dual application (one in the fall and one in the spring).  “The preliminary results after the first two years aren’t showing much of a benefit from the fall foliar fungicide application, similar to our recent study,” Turkington says. “Some of the results suggest a dual fall and spring application does not provide any additional benefit over a spring application in Western Canada.”

So for this fall, don’t pull out the sprayer if you see stripe rust in your winter wheat.  But, be ready to scout in the spring! And look for more updates to current winter wheat research underway across Western Canada.

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist and Holly Derksen, Field Crops Pathologist, Manitoba Agriculture; with assistance from Dr. Brent McCallum, AAFC Morden and Dr. Kelly Turkington, AAFC Lacombe.

Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter: @MBGovAg
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Manitoba Agriculture website: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture

 

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Winter Wheat Survival – Impacted by Fall Management Decisions & the Weather!

For winter wheat, survival through our cold Manitoba winters is directly influenced by fall management decisions, including variety selection, seeding date and depth, adequate plant stands, fertility and stubble height/density. Optimal winter survival can also be influenced by fall weather conditions and snow cover.

What is the ideal situation heading into the winter?

  • Plant stage would be at the 3 to 4 leaf with 1 to 2 tillers, and well developed crown tissue.
  • Cool conditions in the fall, where plants would grow for 4-5 weeks, followed by 4-8 weeks (October to November) of growth that allowed plant to acclimate (harden off) and vernalize (giving the plant the signal to flower next spring).
  • A minimum of 4 inches of trapped snow cover through December to early March to buffer soil temperature changes and provide protection to the crown tissue.

What is cold acclimation and vernalization? 

Cold Acclimation. The ability of the winter wheat plant to survive the winter often depends on its ability to withstand low temperatures.  Under normal field conditions, eight to twelve weeks of growth is usually required for the full development of winter hardiness.  The first four to five weeks is a period of active growth that takes place when average daily soil temperatures at a depth of two inches (5 cm) are above 9°C. Both the cold acclimation process and winter survival require energy and this period of warm temperature allows for the establishment of healthy vigorous plants. Plants with well developed crowns before freeze-up are most desirable.  However, plants that enter the winter with two to three leaves are usually not seriously disadvantaged.

Cold acclimation of winter wheat plants begins once fall temperatures drop below 9°C.   In the field, four to eight weeks at temperatures below 9°C is usually required to fully cold harden plants. However, regardless of the amount of cold acclimation, the wheat plant must receive insulating snow cover to survive the cold prairie winters.

Vernalization. During the period of cold acclimation, the low temperatures also initiate in the plant a physiological response called vernalization.  During vernalization, the plant converts from vegetative to reproductive growth and the reproductive structures are developed.  Because of this vernalization requirement, winter wheat produces only leaves for both the main stem and tillers aboveground in the fall in preparation for winter.  The growing point and buds of both the main stem and tillers remain belowground, insulated against the cold winter temperatures. Once vernalization requirements are met, the growing point differentiates and develops an embryonic head.  At this time, wheat head size or total number of spikelets per head is determined.  What is important to note here is neither seedling growth nor tillering is required for vernalization to occur.  This process can begin in seeds as soon as they absorb water and swell.  Hence, late planted wheat that has not emerged prior to winter should be adequately vernalized.   Or in extreme conditions, vernalization may occur under cool spring conditions.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter: @MBGovAg
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VOLUNTEER CANOLA IN WINTER WHEAT – A CAUSE FOR CONCERN?

With good soil moisture conditions, warm soil temperatures and generally favorable weather, winter wheat is emerging quickly across Manitoba. However, those same conditions are also allowing volunteer canola to grow very well.  And in some cases, volunteer canola will be present in establishing winter wheat fields in higher than wanted populations.

There are really two camps in regards to management of volunteer canola post-emergence in winter wheat in the fall. One is to wait for the first killing frost of the fall to control the volunteer canola, with the assumption the weed pressure is not sufficient to impact yield or crop establishment.

The other is to remove the early weed competition through herbicide application. There are a few products available for fall application after winter wheat emergence for control of volunteer canola. These include a bromoxynil/MCPA ester tank mix, Infinity (pyrosulfatole & bromoxynil) and Simplicity (pyroxsulam – does not control Clearfield volunteer canola). However, remember that a fall application of 2,4-D or dicamba products is not recommended (or registered) as it can cause crop injury only seen the following year at heading, as well impact yield potential (see photos below).

2,4-D injury in winter wheat

2,4-D Damage to Winter Wheat (Photos by Manitoba Agriculture)

For more information on registered products, application timing and rates, refer to the Guide to Crop Protection at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/guides-and-publications/pubs/crop-protection-guide-herbicide.pdf

If herbicide application is considered, are there economic thresholds available, i.e. what density volunteer canola will cause yield losses that are economically greater than the cost of control?  Unfortunately, there is limited data available to assist producers and agronomists. In a 2-year study done in Ontario, yield response to increasing volunteer canola densities was variable in both years of the trial (Table 1). In 2004, the volunteer canola plant density of 760 plants/m2 was significantly lower than the other treatments.  However, there were no statistical differences in winter wheat yield at the various volunteer canola densities in 2005. Therefore, ‘it is inconclusive as to the density of volunteer canola that will significantly reduce winter wheat yields’.

Table 1. Winter wheat yield at various densities of volunteer canola in Ontario (2004 & 2005).

Winter Wheat Yield at various densities of volunteer canola 2004 and 2005

Source: Controlling Volunteer Canola in Winter Wheat
by F. Tardif, P. Smith (University of Guelph) and M. Cowbrough, OMAFRA

 

Fertility Considerations – N Uptake. Another factor to consider with a significant growth of volunteer canola is the amount of nitrogen the canola is utilizing prior to being killed by fall frost or herbicide application. A former Manitoba Agriculture staff person based out of Stonewall did some investigating in fall of 2008 into how much N uptake by volunteer canola was occurring in one of his producer’s fields.

Volunteer canola in winter wheat

Volunteer Canola in a Winter Wheat Field near Stonewall, MB. (Photo by Manitoba Agriculture)

He collected and weighed volunteer canola plants from two locations (2.79 square feet area) in one winter wheat field in early October. The dry matter weight of volunteer canola was calculated to be 791 lbs of dry matter per acre.  The samples were also submitted for tissue analysis and test results indicated the total nitrogen content at 5.02%.  Using 5% for the total nitrogen content results in 39.5 lbs of nitrogen taken up by the volunteer canola to that point. However, much of that nitrogen would be released for the crop next year.

Some other points to consider is some of that nitrogen might be lost overwinter in wet conditions – so the canola is functioning as a ‘catch crop’. However, the bad news is if producers have applied N during seeding or later in the fall, the canola is tapping into ‘applied N’ which is not desirable. And as always, banding is better than broadcast, especially to limit weed uptake of N.

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist; Jeanette Gaultier, Provincial Weed Specialist; and John Heard, Crop Nutrition Specialist; Manitoba Agriculture

Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter: @MBGovAg
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Manitoba Agriculture website: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture

 

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2016 Winter Wheat & Fall Rye MCVET Data Available!

Winter Wheat MCVET 2016Since 2008, MCVET (Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team) has been publishing winter cereal yield data collected from their trials shortly after harvest to help farmers and seed growers in Manitoba make variety decisions.

In 2016, data is being released for 10 locations for 7 winter wheat varieties and 5 fall rye varieties: Fresh off the Field – 2016 MCVET Winter Cereal Yield Data

 

 

 

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter: @MBGovAg
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Manitoba Agriculture website: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture

 

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Seeding Winter Wheat? There’s Lots of Good Information on Crop Chatter!

With canola coming off in Manitoba, now is the time of year where producers are making plans to seed winter wheat.  There have been numerous posts on Crop Chatter regarding winter wheat production over the past year and I’ve summarized the most relevant ones to seeding below:

Another excellent source of information is the Western Winter Wheat Initiative website at: http://www.growwinterwheat.ca/. The Western Winter Wheat Initiative is a collaboration between Bayer Crop Science, The Mosaic Company Foundation, Richardson International, and Ducks Unlimited. It provides information and support in agronomy, products, and grain marketing to ensure winter wheat is a crop that is sustainable and profitable for farmers.  So check it out!

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter: @MBGovAg
Manitoba Agriculture on YouTube: www.youtube.com/ManitobaAgriculture
Manitoba Agriculture website: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture

 

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Top Winter Wheat Varieties in Manitoba – 2016

In 2016, there was approximately 134,000 acres of commercial winter wheat seeded in the fall of 2015 in Manitoba, as reported by producers for AgriInsurance purposes (acres do not include pedigree or organic production). This is down slightly from the 159,000 acres of winter wheat seeded the previous fall of 2014.

The variety Emerson, at 64.7% of Manitoba’s commercial winter wheat acreage, was the most popular variety grown in Manitoba in 2016 (compared to 54.2% in 2015 when it also the most popular).  Emerson was first released to producers in the fall of 2014 and is the first winter wheat variety with a Resistant (R) rating to fusarium head blight.

CDC Falcon remains in the second spot in 2016 at 12.4%, down from 2015 (20.7%). In third spot is AAC Gateway at 10.1%, which is a newer variety developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Lethbridge Research and Development Centre.  It is a shorter-statured variety, with good straw strength, good yield potential, and higher protein content. AAC Gateway belongs to the Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) class.

Rounding out the top 5 include CDC Buteo at 5.5% and Flourish at 2.3%.  The top five varieties were grown on 95% of winter wheat acres in Manitoba. The remaining 5% of acres were seeded to 8 other winter wheat varieties.

Approximately 85% of commercial winter wheat acres were seeded to varieties belonging to the CWRW class, with the remaining acreage seeded to varieties of the new Canada Western Special Purpose (CWSP) class. The CWSP class is a new class created by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) as of August 1, 2016 (https://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/consultations/2015/classes-en.htm).

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Source: http://www.mmpp.com/mmpp.nsf/sar_varieties_2016.pdf

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