National survey on wheat and barley head scab
This spring, about 16,500 wheat and barley growers in 17 states (450 in Arkansas) will receive a questionnaire on Fusarium head blight (scab) from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Scab is a fungal disease that infects the heads of small grain plants. It can be severely damaging almost anywhere in the U.S. where there is wet, mild weather before or as the crop flowers.
The scab survey is being carried out on behalf of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI). The USWBSI is made up of stakeholders in the cereal industry: growers, fungicide companies, millers, brewers, feed producers, scientists, and extension workers. Its mission is to help reduce economic losses due to yield damage and deoxynivalenol (DON; aka vomitoxin) from the scab fungus. The USWBSI provides science-based information on the best scab management practices.
The survey is key to helping the USWBSI understand how widely these management practices are currently understood and applied. Knowing more about the barriers to scab management will help the USWBSI provide better support to growers and crop advisors in reducing scab losses.
“We hope growers who receive the questionnaire will take a little time to respond,” said Art Brandli, co-chair of the USWBSI and a small-grain grower in Minnesota. “Their information will be a big contribution to helping us fight this damaging disease more effectively, both in their state and at the national level.”