Recent heavy rain has increased the potential threat from fusarium mycotoxins, warns the HGCA.
For instance, 80mm of rain will add nine points to growers’ risk scores using the mycotoxin risk assessment. Should the total points exceed 15 at harvest, growers are advised to test their grain, as the crop will be at increased risk of contamination.
Growers should determine their risk by calculating mycotoxin contamination. This done by entering previous field cultivations, wheat variety, T3 fungicide application and rainfall.
“Heavy rainfall followed by long periods of high humidity over flowering is ideal for fusarium head blight infection,” says Simon Edwards of Harper Adams University College.
“These conditions occurred as the crop was flowering in the South and are happening as the crop starts to flower in the North,” says Prof Edwards.
HGCA senior research manager, Simon Oxley, says: “Timely completion of the risk assessment at each stage from now until harvest will help growers better assess their situation.
“The risk score can be reduced by treating at T3, so where untreated crops are still within a window for a T3 treatment, there is still time for growers to minimise the risk,” adds Dr Oxley.
More details regarding mycotoxin risk assessment can be found online.