Forecasting FHB Environmental Risk Webtool


Foster, A., Johnstone, E., Quan, I., & Matters, R. (2023, November 29). Forecasting FHB: Environmental risk webtool. Atlantic Grains Council Annual General Meeting 2023, Moncton.

Plain language summary

In our presentation titled "Forecasting FHB: Environmental Risk Webtool" on November 29, 2023, we delved into the critical issue of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), a significant disease affecting grain crops, notably spring wheat. We began by explaining the epidemiology of FHB, which is the study of how this disease spreads, its impact on crops, and the environmental conditions that favor its development. A key focus was on the different species of Fusarium that pose a threat to our crops and why understanding these species is crucial for effective disease management. We then explored how the risk of FHB can be modeled. Our discussion included the principles behind disease forecasting models and how these models are invaluable tools for predicting disease outbreaks. Such predictions are based on environmental conditions, allowing growers to make informed decisions on managing the disease. A highlight of our presentation was the live demonstration of the FHB webtool, an innovative online platform designed to help growers assess the risk of FHB in real-time. This tool integrates the latest modeling techniques to provide accurate forecasts of FHB risk, enabling growers to take timely action to protect their crops. We also shared findings from our 2023 field experiments, which demonstrated the effectiveness of fungicides in reducing FHB in spring wheat. However, our results clearly showed that despite the use of fungicides, the extremely high disease pressure this year meant that fungicides alone were insufficient for adequate control of FHB. This underscores the importance of integrated disease management strategies that go beyond reliance on chemicals. Our presentation aimed to equip attendees with a deeper understanding of FHB and the innovative tools available for its management, emphasizing the need for a multifaceted approach to combat this persistent threat to grain production.

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