Stay Ahead of Fusarium Head Blight

You can help to limit the presence of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), and protect the marketability of your harvested oats, by taking a proactive approach to managing fusarium head blight (FHB) this growing season.

Commonly known as vomitoxin, DON can be produced when FHB infects cereal crops. Its presence can limit grain’s end uses and marketing potential, as most importing countries have strict limits on DON levels. Shipments that exceed acceptable levels of DON could be rejected, at tremendous cost to the industry and may impact Canada’s reputation as a producer of high-quality cereal grains.

Keep it Clean is encouraging growers to stay ahead of FHB this growing season. Crops are most susceptible to infection during flowering, so scout early for crop stage and environmental conditions, making use of provincial risk maps. If risk is high during the susceptible stage, you may choose to apply a fungicide to suppress infection.

If you find signs of FHB in your cereal crop, Keep it Clean recommends the following steps:

  • Send samples of harvested grain to your grain buyer to test for mycotoxins and determine storage/marketing options.
  • Consider harvesting with a higher combine wind speed to separate the lighter FHB-damaged kernels from clean grain; finely chop and spread straw and chaff to accelerate break down.
  • Thoroughly clean equipment before moving from an FHB-infected field to a non-infected field.
  • In the spring, start your FHB management plan off right by choosing clean seed with improved resistance to FHB and consider a seed treatment if risk is high.
  • Rotate away from cereals on FHB-infected fields for 1-2 years to allow time for residue to decompose.

Learn more about managing FHB at Keep it Clean. Visit: