Enable research in Alberta for continued pest management including plant breeding; monitoring regional, long-term management strategies.
The Alberta crop sector value chain is working together on a roadmap that promotes a total management strategy aimed at mitigating the spread of Fusarium Graminearum. Our roadmap puts an emphasis on extension and education of best management practices, surveillance and monitoring, and research and development.
How we will get there?
Strategic tactics will guide our path forward with the goal of ensuring you have the resources, information and support you need to manage FHB on your farm while fostering long-term mitigation of FHB in the province.
- Determine which tools or needs could be met in a deregulated environment that are not currently possible.
- Incentivize growers to select varieties that produce less deoxynivalenol (DON) and visual fusarium damaged kernels.
Ensure science-based research is responding to the prevalence of the disease and develop associated management plans.
- The seed industry can take full advantage of new fusarium resistant varieties without heat treating seed.
- Heat treating damages seed and reduces germination.
- Multiplication and distribution of resistant varieties will occur up to two years earlier, keeping farmers competitive.
Supporting local research groups will enable them to conduct fusarium mitigation demonstration projects and hold crop tours at those sites.
Reducing the impacts of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) has long been a priority for the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions. The commissions have collaborated with funding partners across Canada to support research that will provide producers with protection from the negative consequences of infection from several angles.
As with any pest, Fusarium graminearum, and other causal agents of FHB within Fusarium Spp., an integrated management approach is recommended. Our investment approach has likewise supported projects which provide multiple management options.
Once a disease is established in an area, farmers should consider choosing varieties with strong resistance packages. Unfortunately, the integration of FHB resistance into bread wheat has been challenging. Durum wheat has proven to be an even greater challenge to researchers.
Despite challenges, scientists are exploiting every tool and technique available to them to increase genetic resistance to the disease.
The commissions have funded upstream projects looking at developing markers to better detect the presence of resistance genes to supporting nurseries where potential varieties are tested in environments conducive to infection to see how well they fare.
Agronomic Management Approaches
While choosing varieties that are resistant to disease is a good first line of defense, it is imperative to support genetics with agronomic techniques which will deter infection and spread. Without proper management of genetics, we run the risk of resistance genes becoming ineffective against the pathogen.
Agronomic techniques for FHB prevention can include chemical control measures, cultural control measures, mechanical control measures and biological control measures, and have been made which incorporate all tactics. In addition, the Commissions have provided funding towards surveillance and monitoring and the development of risk assessment tools to aid in decision making.