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Fusarium levels lower than usual - reduced risk of mycotoxins

by 5m Editor
4 October 2007, at 11:23am

CANADA - Agriculture and Agrifood Canada reports levels of fusraium head blight infection in Manitoba appear to be somewhat lower than average this year, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Fusarium head blight is a fungal infection that primarily affects cereal crops, often resulting in the production of mycotoxins in the grain.

Each year scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Cereal Research Centre in Winnipeg survey fusarium levels in winter wheat, spring wheat, barley and oats in as much of the growing area of Manitoba as possible with the main emphasis on the Red River Valley and southern areas.

Plant pathologist Dr. Andy Tekauz says levels of infection have varied this year, depending primarily on when the crops were planted.

Dr. Andy Tekauz-Agriculture and Agrifood Canada

This year is I would say overall that the levels, if we look at a ten year average, are perhaps a little bit lower than average particularly for winter wheat and for barley.

Spring wheats perhaps is at an average level or even just a little bit above.

These results however are based just on what we see in the field in the crops when they're still standing there and are based on visual examination.

Generally speaking the southern most portions of the province close to the United States border were those that seem to have been more affected than other areas and we think that this likely is because those crops were planted earlier so it seems that the earlier planted crops this year suffered somewhat more from fusarium head blight than those that weren't planted during that first window of opportunity.


Dr. Tekauz notes scientists are just now beginning to evaluate FDK, or fusarium damaged kernel, and mycotoxin levels.

He expects results of those analysis to be available by about Christmas.

5m Editor