Last month, the Alberta Seed Processors released an interim report that quantifies the incidence of fusarium on seed samples submitted to Alberta seed testing labs. | File photo

Alta. seed survey tracks fusarium prevalence

Grain growers in Alberta have gained access to a valuable new tool aimed at controlling the spread of Fusarium graminearum. Last month, the Alberta Seed Processors released an interim report that quantifies the incidence of the pathogen on seed samples submitted to Alberta seed testing labs. The report, which includes a provincial map showing the […] Read more

The change to the act was supported by the Alberta wheat and Alberta barley commissions, so requests for check-off refunds are a way to show disapproval.
 | File photo

Check-off protest erupts over fusarium

Some producers in Alberta’s northern rural municipalities are requesting refunds of wheat and barley check-off payments as a way to protest the removal of fusarium from the Alberta Pests Act. The crop disease has been slowly spreading westward for decades and until a change in May to the Pest Nuisance Control Regulation, Alberta had a […] Read more

USDA plant breeder Steven Xu is part of a team that has discovered a potential genetic solution to Fusarium Head Blight.  |  USDA ARS photo

Gene discovery brings FHB resistance to cereals

New Fhb7 varieties of wheat with better FHB resistance 
may be available in a few years, developed in North Dakota

Plant geneticists the world around are devoting billions of dollars and centuries of accumulated time trying to breed better fusarium head blight resistance into wheat. Some fail. Some succeed. One of the most promising endeavours is the discovery and cloning of a gene that has been named Fhb7. The gene reduces FHB by detoxifying mycotoxins […] Read more


The province says the move will allow disease management, rather than having a zero-tolerance approach. | Screencap via manageFHB.ca

Alta. removes fusarium from pest act

The Alberta government is removing fusarium graminearum from its pest regulation, a move industry says will allow for better management of the disease. The government said in a news release today that regulating the disease has failed to stop it, arguing the changes allow for the modernization of management practices. It said rates of fusarium […] Read more

Andy Tekauz of Agriculture Canada took members of the fusarium headblight community through a history of fusarium outbreaks and research in Canada, which stretches back almost a century to the first recorded case in 1919. | Ed White photo

Community builds to fight fusarium

Not a lot of people are members of the “fusarium headblight community,” but for the few hundred who are, it’s a rich society of researchers, agriculture industry players, government officials and farmers. That community recently gathered in Winnipeg, and it became clear that one of the triumphs of fusarium research has been the creation of […] Read more


Fiona Buchanan, an animal sciences professor at the University of Saskatchewan, holds up a heap of mealworms she scooped from a tub of fusarium-damaged wheat where they were feeding. Buchanan is researching the feasibility of cleaning vomitoxins out of fusarium-contaminated wheat by feeding the wheat to the worms.  |  William DeKay photo

Got fusarium? Turn to worms

Insects and disease are two enemies of the prairie wheat farmer, but researchers feel there is a unique case where one can help deal with damage inflicted by the other. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have determined they can fatten up mealworms on a diet of fusarium-damaged wheat and then safely feed the mealworms […] Read more

Fusarium gramarium’s larger threat to the grade and quality of crops like durum is the DON, rather than the damaged kernels.  |  Michael Raine photo

World doesn’t end after fusarium, clean it

BRANDON — It’s easy to throw in the towel when looking at a bin of grain heavily damaged by fusarium. However, feed scientist Rex Newkirk says farmers can salvage “significant value” from grain they are assuming has little. “There’s lots of value to be had,” Newkirk, a University of Saskatchewan researcher, said after a presentation at […] Read more

Myriam Fernandez, an Ag Canada scientist in Swift Current, Sask., has studied fusarium head blight for more than two decades. She believes organic growers may have fewer problems with fusarium because the organic system wards off the fungal disease. |  Photo courtesy of Agriculture Canada Swift Current

Why organic wheat escaped fusarium last year

Researchers say practices such as proper varieties and rotations are just as important as fungicides in disease control

One thing is clear to Myriam Fernandez. Fungicides are one tool to tackle fusarium head blight, along with longer crop rotations and growing varieties with the highest possible resistance. But fungicides aren’t the only tool. “If you’re going to rely on fungicide application as the solution for your FHB problem, if you don’t do anything […] Read more


The Bo-Mill TriQ grain sorter might be a worthwhile investment for seed cleaning companies and perhaps even individual farmers, particularly in years when fusarium damaged grain is abundant.  |  Bomill AB photo

Alberta company buys infrared grain sorter

An Alberta seed cleaning company has placed an order for a high-tech grain sorter that has the ability to clean fusarium-damaged kernels out of bulk grain shipments. Spectrum Grain Solutions of Bashaw, Alta., plans to use a Swedish-built Bo-Mill TriQ grain sorter to add value to grain that’s been degraded due to fusarium, ergot or […] Read more