Through the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Program, the deadline for seeding crops for greenfeed has been extended from June 30 to July 15. Producers who have Crop Insurance will now be able to seed and insure any cereal greenfeed crop.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is such a prevalent and destructive problem for Saskatchewan wheat producers that Sask Wheat has made it a research priority, investing millions of dollars into projects studying how to combat the fungus and minimize its damage. Two of those projects were recently completed. One project tested potential new sources of FHB resistance in spring wheat while another focused on improving FHB management in durum.
Dr. Vladimir Vujanovic, an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan who specializes in microbiology, launched a research project last March looking at the potential to use biological control agents (BCAs) to help control FHB in Saskatchewan.
Sask Wheat continues to be engaged in the ongoing value creation consultation led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Sask Wheat Chair, Laura Reiter, is participating on a producer panel that is providing feedback on the next steps of the consultation. For next steps, AAFC and the CFIA are planning an online survey for producers to provide feedback. Sask Wheat encourages all producers to participate in the online survey.
In spite of the current weather not seeming to favour the development of FHB, FHB cannot be ruled out and producers must be prepared to manage it in 2019. With many crops hitting the heading stage soon, it will be important for producers to have their management strategy in place to minimize FHB infection, with the frequent scouting of fields and consideration of applying fungicide during the optimal timeframe being key elements of an effective management strategy.
The University of Manitoba is leading a fusarium head blight (FHB) risk assessment project across the three prairie provinces. The major goal of this project is to develop a standardized, weather-based method for reliably predicting FHB and mycotoxin (DON) accumulation across all three prairie provinces.
“This is an exciting development for durum farmers as it will mean wheat breeders will be able to produce varieties with improved yields and resistance to disease, pests, and environmental stressors quicker than before,” said Laura Reiter, Chair of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission board of directors, who farms near Radisson, Saskatchewan.