20/20 Seed Labs Inc. produces data-based Fusarium graminearum testing recommendations each fall as part of the industry’s responsibility to track and manage this disease.
Western Canada experienced widespread heat and drought conditions during the 2021 growing season. Limited precipitation and soil moisture resulted in low disease pressure for most dryland fields in Alberta. As a result, there is a low percentage of F. graminearum infection on cereal samples tested by the plate method. The plate method can detect infection above 0.5%; therefore, samples with low F.graminearum infection are not detected.
For this winter and spring, it is recommended that most producers, seed growers, and seed processors in Alberta use the DNA-based method to test for the presence of F. graminearum on seed.
Even low infection on a seed lot can spread F. graminearum into new fields and production areas, which is why we are recommending the DNA-based testing method for most production areas in Alberta.
The DNA-based method detects low amounts of F. graminearum infection (<0.5%) and identifies intrinsic infection and the presence of F. graminearum on the surface of the seed.
The plate method F. graminearum testing on seed is only recommended if your production area is in: Camrose County, Cardston County, County of Forty Mile No. 8, County of Lethbridge, County of Newell, County of Warner No. 5, M.D. of Taber, and Vulcan County (Figure 1.).
Figure 1. Fusarium graminearum seed testing recommendations for production areas in Alberta counties and municipal districts. These recommendations are relevant from August 2021 to July 2022.
There are some added considerations when choosing the suitable F. graminearum testing method for your seed lot:
Know what result your seed processor requires. A plated Fusarium test will give results as a percent infection. A DNA-based Fusarium test will give results as “Detected” or “Not Detected”.
If DNA-based Fusarium test results come back as “Detected”, re-testing the sample with the plate method is recommended to determine the percent infection and disease management strategies.
Unsure which Fusarium testing method is right for you?