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Small adjustment to conventional fungicide practice can reduce DON levels, increasing grain quality and protability
Twenty years ago terms such as vomitoxin or DON were unfamiliar to wheat producers, grain elevator personnel and wheat millers. However in 1993, widespread infestation of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) occurred in grain produced in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, resulting in signicant losses. Since then, DON has hit virtually every U.S. wheat-growing region. DON is a toxic substance produced by the fungus that causes a disease in wheat and barley known as Fusarium head blight, or scab. Because DON could pose a health risk if consumed in high amounts, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set guidelines for maximum DON levels allowed in wheat products for human consumption and livestock feed. (Figure 1). Millers can set their own ppm requirements as long as the resulting product satises FDA guidelines. But they may pay a premium price for grain that already meets FDA guidelines, as it will require less processing to achieve an end product that meets regulatory thresholds. The best way for growers to manage and even reduce DON levels in their grain is through the application of a fungicide. But growers need to remember that timing is key and not all fungicides are created equal. Growers might think the best way to ght fungal disease is to apply a strobilurin chemistry at ag leaf stage, said Randy Myers, Ph.D., fungicides product manager for Bayer CropScience. But they might not realize strobilurin fungicides do not have activity against scab. In fact, strobilurins applied at the wrong time can increase DON levels.
Figure 1

The application of a strobilurin fungicide around the wheat growth stage of Feekes 8.0 is intended to protect the ag leaf from foliar diseases. Scab isnt a threat until the wheat reaches owering, Feekes 10.51. But it can take as little as a few days for wheat plants to grow from one stage to the next. A grower may apply a strobilurin fungicide to manage disease of the ag leaf when his wheat is at Feekes 8 or 9, Myers explained. Shortly thereafter, his wheat could be at Feekes 10.51critical timing for scab prevention. That strobilurin, though, is ineffective when it comes to scab and could even increase mycotoxin levels. The grower has to decide if hes ready to invest in the labor and fungicide to make another pass through his eld to manage scab and protect grain quality. Myers further explained the answer doesnt have to be complicated. If growers can resist that urge to make a strobilurin application and wait just a few days to apply a product such as Prosaro fungicide, Myers said, they get all of the foliar disease control they expect from a strobilurin fungicidealong with scab control. Universities conducting wheat research are emphatic that strobilurin fungicides are not effective against scab, while eld trials show that Prosaro effectively controls scab and ultimately reduces DON levels in grain. (Figure 2). Prosaro does more than help a grower manage DON levelsit also increases his yield. (Figure 3). This combination of protecting the plant from disease and helping maximize yield potential means a grower can get a premium price for his grain, thus further increasing his prots.


1 ppm 5 ppm 5 ppm 10 ppm Figure 2

Finished wheat products, such as our, bran and germ that potentially may be consumed by humans. Grains and grain byproducts destined for swine, providing that these ingredients do not exceed 20 percent of the diet. Grains and grain byproducts destined for all other animals, providing that these ingredients do not exceed 40% of the diet. Grains and grain byproducts destined for ruminating beef and feedlot cattle older than 4 months and for poultry, providing that these ingredients do not exceed 50 percent of the diet. Figure 3


4.00 3.50 3.00


Winter wheat


Results from 31 winter wheat trials conducted 2008-10 in IN and OH. Prosaro applied at Feekes growth stage 10.51.


DON (ppm)

2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00

n=169 winter wheat trials conducted 2008-10 in OH, IN, KY, MO, MI, TN and IL. Prosaro applied at Feekes 10.51.

Spring wheat

60 65

70 75

n=28 spring wheat trials conducted 2008-10 in ND, SD and MN. Prosaro applied at Feekes 10.51.





Prosaro 6.5 oz/A

Prosaro 6.5 oz/A


Bayer CropScience LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer, the Bayer Cross and Prosaro are registered trademarks of Bayer. Prosaro is not registered in all states. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at CR0313PROSARA029V00R0