Cause of High Prevalence of Fungal Diseases in 2010

by 5m Editor
10 January 2011, at 8:53am

CANADA - A mycologist with the Canadian Grain Commission blames warm wet weather conditions during the summer and at harvest for an increased prevalence of fungal diseases during the 2010 growing season, Bruce Cochrane writes.

Fungal diseases such as fusarium head blight thrive under warm wet weather conditions.

Canadian Grain Commission mycologist Tom Graefenhan says downgrading due to fungal diseases was a common concern throughout the prairies in 2010.

Tom Graefenhan-Canadian Grain Commission

Generally speaking we saw higher than usual amounts of rainfall in many parts of the prairies throughout the summer and at harvest time and these were accompanied by relatively warm temperatures.

Those conditions favor various fungal diseases out in the fields on all kinds of crops.

In 2010 the most grading factors at the Canadian Grain Commission inspection were frost and mildew in wheat, bleaching and staining in lentils as well as mold and weather staining in beans.

On cereal grain another important disease was and is fusarium head blight.

In western Canada fusarium graminearum was first detected in 1984 along the Red River Valley in Manitoba.

Ever since the fusarium head blight spread across Manitoba into eastern Saskatchewan where it is commonly found on all cereal grains.

In 2010 quite a few samples were degraded for fusarium damage by all grain inspectors.

In exceptional cases samples contained more than ten per cent FDK.

Mr Graefenhan says, while fusarium damaged kernels were reported in regions not normally severely affected by fusarium such as western Saskatchewan or central Alberta those areas were impacted by fusarium avenaceum, a species of fusarium that does not produce mycotoxins.

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