Disease management and estimated effects on DON (Deoxynivalenol) contamination in Fusarium infested barley

Gregory McKee, Christina Cowger, Ruth Dill-Macky, Andrew Friskop, Pravin Gautam, Joel Ransom, William Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Fusarium head blight (FHB or scab) economically devastates barley production. FHB is predominantly caused by Fusarium graminearum and has resulted in major reductions in the quality of barley in the United States. The most common source of economic loss is through development of potent mycotoxins in the grain, the most prominent of which, in the United States, is deoxynivalenol (DON). DON levels can be managed through a variety of techniques. This study presents the estimate of the statistical relationship among DON contamination in barley, FHB incidence and severity, and a variety of disease management techniques. Data from 22 field studies and a survey of barley producers are used to estimate the relationship. Fungicide applications reduce DON in barley in general and via complementary interactions with the barley cultivar. Genetic FHB resistance in barley varieties is an important determinant of DON levels, as well as previous crop and factors related to time and location. Taking care to avoid rotations with FHB host crops immediately prior to barley is also important to reduce DON levels in barley. These become key inputs into barley producer decisions for evaluating the economic value of adopting FHB management techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Salaries and research support were provided by state and federal funds, especially the United States Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, through a project titled “Economic Impact of USWBSI Impact on Reducing FHB”. We acknowledge the assistance of Joy Smith (retired), at the North Carolina State University, Department of Statistics for preparing the FHB management response data. The United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service collaborated in obtaining the FHB management data

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Disease management
  • Fusarium head blight
  • Regression
  • Scab


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