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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Fusarium Head Blight Epidemic of 2003 in the Southeastern United States

Authors
item Sutton, Abbey
item Cowger, Christina

Submitted to: U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative Scab News
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2004
Publication Date: December 1, 2004
Citation: Sutton, A.L., Cowger, C. 2004. The fusarium head blight epidemic of 2003 in the southeastern united states. U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative Scab News.

Interpretive Summary: The year 2003 was generally considered to have seen one of the most severe Fusarium head blight (FHB) epidemics ever in the southeastern U.S. FHB causes losses in yield, test weight, and seed quality of wheat, barley, and oats. This report addresses losses to wheat. The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is produced in infected spikes and kernels. The objective of this study was to document the severity of the Southeastern U.S. epidemic, estimate resulting losses, and examine environmental factors related to the epidemic. Data on disease incidence, severity and losses were obtained from researchers, extension specialists, extension agents, millers and growers in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Data were obtained for the top 10 wheat-producing counties in each state; other counties were included as disease severities warranted. A total of 10 counties in Maryland, 12 in Virginia, 21 in North Carolina, 11 in South Carolina and 13 in Georgia were examined. Additional data were obtained for the following surrounding states: Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. During the course of the study, 27 researchers and extension specialists, 57 extension agents, 16 millers and 20 growers were surveyed by phone and personal interview.

Technical Abstract: The year 2003 was generally considered to have seen one of the most severe Fusarium head blight (FHB) epidemics ever in the southeastern U.S. FHB causes losses in yield, test weight, and seed quality of wheat, barley, and oats. This report addresses losses to wheat. The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is produced in infected spikes and kernels. The objective of this study was to document the severity of the Southeastern U.S. epidemic, estimate resulting losses, and examine environmental factors related to the epidemic. Data on disease incidence, severity and losses were obtained from researchers, extension specialists, extension agents, millers and growers in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Data were obtained for the top 10 wheat-producing counties in each state; other counties were included as disease severities warranted. A total of 10 counties in Maryland, 12 in Virginia, 21 in North Carolina, 11 in South Carolina and 13 in Georgia were examined. Additional data were obtained for the following surrounding states: Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. During the course of the study, 27 researchers and extension specialists, 57 extension agents, 16 millers and 20 growers were surveyed by phone and personal interview.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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