Wheat School: Watch out for spoilage moulds in seed samples

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Every year is different when it comes to growing a crop. The summer growing conditions are unpredictable and, as we have seen this year, harvest can go from great to brutal in one weather event. The same is true with seed: every sample can offer its own surprises.

RealAgriculture’s Dale Leftwich recently attended the Western Forum on Pest Management at Lloydminster, Alta., where he caught up with Trevor Blois, disease diagnostician supervisor with 20/20 Seed Labs. They had a chance to chat about what the seed lab is seeing in the early samples off of the combine. (Story continues after video)

The good news is that the early samples do not have a lot of seedling-borne disease. Fusarium head blight (FHB), in particular is at a more manageable level. Blois says, “So far only about 3.6 percent of all samples across all the cereal crop types have tested positive for fusarium graminearum. Compare that to a couple years ago when it was up around 19 per cent of samples.”

The bad news is that the delayed wet harvest could lead to some other issues. Blois says to watch out for storage moulds. He explains, “If samples are harvested when there is too much moisture we could see some spoilage moulds taking root.”

The important point is that every year is different, but so is every field, so get your seed tested. Better to know early and make plans than to know late and make adjustments.

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