Wheat School: New FHB1 varieties offer better fusarium control, agronomics and yield

The FHB1 gene for fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance has been around for some time, but now it’s available in stronger agronomic varieties that deliver yield punch.

That’s good news for North American wheat growers, says Bryan Gerard of Indiana-based Gerard Seed Solutions. In this episode of RealAgriculture Wheat School, Gerard explains that the FHB1 gene, which comes from a Chinese spring wheat, can reduce FHB or ‘scab’ infection rates up to 27 percent. Unfortunately, when it was first brought to North America it also carried some baggage, including poor agronomics and yield drag.

But with help from new and improved breeding techniques and marker-assisted selection, FHB1 is now being inserted into much higher yielding varieties, explained Gerard at the recent C&M Seeds Industry Day. He says in the U.S., new FHB1 varieties are at the top of research, state and company performance trials. They will be widely available to U.S. growers this year. He adds that two varieties are currently available in Canada and there are more in the pipeline.

In the video, Gerard also addresses how FHB1 can be combined with effective spraying to better control fusarium. He also discusses DON production and how well the gene could stand up to severe FBH pressure.

Click here for more Wheat School episodes.



Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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