Fusarium Head Blight Devastates Louisiana Wheat Crop

By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network

According to LSU AgCenter plant breeder Dr. Steve Harrison, Fusarium Head Blight—or scab disease—has become a vicious problem for Louisiana wheat growers during the past five or so years.  It has greatly affected the state's wheat crop, and Harrison says it’s hard to control with fungicides.

“The other challenge with Fusarium Head Blight is there are no silver bullets as far as genetics go,” said Harrison.

“It’s a trait that’s controlled by a lot of genes that have moderate to minor impact on the disease, so we have to try to accumulate a large number of those genes, or a handful of those genes, to get a reasonable level of resistance.”

“And of course where we’re going with that is when you add a good fungicide with a moderate level of resistance then, in most years, growers can escape significant losses,” according to Harrison.