Pairing Genetics and Fungicides in Wheat Production


  • Paul Esker
  • Shawn Conley
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Media

With the wheat commodity prices staying high, the interest in wheat in the state remains very strong. Over the past few years, we have discussed many issues associated with managing wheat in Wisconsin (Esker et al. 2008), in particular knowledge of the following factors for use of foliar fungicides as part of an IPM program: (i) active scouting of fields, (ii) knowledge of growth stage, (iii) knowledge of disease risk, (iv) knowledge of the variety planted, (v) estimating stand quality post-dormancy, (vi) overall crop development in the spring, (vii) weather, (viii) understanding the different fungicides and targeted diseases, and (ix) commodity prices. However, linking both genetics and fungicides is not a trivial set of research questions. For example, in 2009 and 2010, the winter wheat variety trial at Janesville was duplicated in size thus enabling the application of a fungicide at flag leaf emergence (fungicide: Quilt). However, results from that trial indicated that there was no evidence of an effect of foliar fungicide nor an interaction of variety and fungicide (Lackermann, 2010). One explanation was that the disease intensity at Janesville was relatively low in both years but this also highlights that the appropriate use of a foliar fungicide should be for disease control.