Issue 4
December 1995

Why Did Scab Seem Worse in Barley?


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Prairie Grains is the
official publication of
the Minnesota
Association of
Wheat Growers,
North Dakota Grain
Growers Association,
South Dakota Wheat,
Inc., and the
Minnesota Barley
Growers Association.


Even though all wheat and barley varieties are susceptible to scab, there are some wheat varieties which are less susceptible than others. Barley, however, has fewer varietal choices to select from in managing for scab. Also, wheat had more foliar fungicide options available for scab suppression than barley.

Still, the incidence and severity of scab and vomitoxin in barley may not have been much worse than in wheat this past growing season; there was simply more attention paid to the infections in barley. That’s because infected malting barley can cause problems in the beer brewing process; thus, barley was subject to stringent requirements for malting and market discounts at harvest.

"Typically, the specifications become tighter at harvest, but growers have the advantage of a smaller pile for buyers to pick from this year. The industry will be blending to meet malting specifications; our advice to growers was to bin their barley until the market turned more in their favor," said Marv Zutz, executive director of the Minnesota Barley Council, Red Lake Falls, Minn.

The smaller size of the barley industry compared to wheat may prove to be an advantage in researching scab solutions, says Zutz. There are fewer barley breeders and more collaboration on scab research.

Copyright Prairie
Grains Magazine
December 1995