Input for head scab tool requested

Ohio State University Extension plant pathologists are asking wheat growers, millers, bakers, and grain handlers for their input on a multi-state web-based tool that evaluates the risk of the development of head scab, a serious disease of wheat that affected several acres throughout in 2010.

The Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool ( is one of the largest early disease warning systems in the nation that uses a combination of weather patterns, the type of wheat planted, and the flowering dates of a grower’s wheat to predict the level of risk a grower may face from head scab. The tool provides daily estimates of scab risk for 25 states east of the Rocky Mountains.

“Fusarium head blight or head scab of wheat has been an important problem in Ohio, with the biggest outbreak in the last 10-14 years occurring in 2010,” said Pierce Paul, an OSU Extension plant pathologist and wheat specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “The disease is best managed through variety resistance and timely application of fungicides when weather conditions elevate the risk of disease development.”

Paul is encouraging growers who used the Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool in 2010 to predict the risk of and the need for fungicide applications in wheat to fill out the following survey:

“This multi-state effort requires considerable resources to maintain, and scientists involved in the project would like to gather some input that will help in evaluating, improving and maintaining the system,” said Paul.

The Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool is a joint project of Ohio State University Extension, Penn State University, Purdue University, North Dakota State University, Kansas State University, South Dakota State University and the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, and counts on contributions from all states covered by the system.

Growers are encouraged to fill out the survey by the end of the month. For more information, contact Pierce Paul at 330-263-3842 or e-mail

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