Wednesday, 03 May 2017 15:53

CGC grain testing helps growers protect and market their crops from fusarium

Written by  Marketwired
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Fusarium is on the rise across the prairies, and is raising concern about cereal crop quality.


 However, growers can gain confidence in the quality of their grain by getting it tested and developing a crop protection strategy for the next season based on their test results.
 The Canadian Grain Commission provides more than 20 types of grain testing services to growers. One of the tests examines grain for Vomitoxin (DON), a toxin derived from the fusarium disease.
Other tests include testing for moisture, gluten, and oil content, checking for fatty acids and measuring grain quality.
 The Canadian Grain Commission also offers a free Harvest Sample Program. With the Harvest Sample Program, growers send in a sample of their crop, and the Commission assesses the sample for dockage, oil and protein content. The Commission then sends the results, along with an unofficial grade, back to growers at no cost.
 Dr. Stefan Wagener, director of the Grain Research Library at the Canadian Grain Commission, highlights the importance of knowing grain quality so growers can capitalize on market demands.
“We regulate over 20 varieties of grain, and we perform a variety of tests to provide information on grain quality,” he said. “When we grade the grain, we’re looking for the presence of diseases, such as fusarium, as well as sprouting and maximum residue limits. A big part of what we do is listen to the countries that buy Canadian grain, and those countries help dictate the market with their demand for certain crops and certain qualities.”
 With grain quality data in hand, growers are better equipped to market their grain. Knowing the grade and quality specifications of their grain can help growers identify potential buyers. It can also aid in planning for the following year if growers are saving some grain for seed.
 Disease presence can reduce grain quality and can lead to lower grades, which in turn lead to lower prices.
Using strategies such as crop rotation or a fungicide application can help growers protect their crop.
Glen Forster, Technical Marketing Specialist for fungicides at BASF, said that it is important to be proactive in protecting crop quality.
“Applying fungicides with multiple modes of effective action protects quality and helps manage fungicide resistance. An early-season application of a fungicide such as Twinline manages major leaf disease while simultaneously promoting plant health benefits such as larger flag leaves, increased grain fill and stronger stems for less lodging and better harvestability,” he said.
“Meanwhile, a second pass with a fungicide later in the season can protect against fusarium head blight and late-season leaf diseases, helping to protect quality at heading.”
 Forster also said it is important to remember that end-users are looking for high-quality grain for their products.
“Proper crop protection is essential in producing a healthy, high-quality crop. Having that quality crop helps growers meet a growing demand and capitalize on a profitable market.”

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