To mitigate the risk of erosion and nutrient runoff, reduced tillage has become more prevalent in Norway. Within within recent decades, there have been some years with relatively high occurrence of Fusarium head blight and mycotoxins in Norwegian cereal grain. This is thought to have been caused by an increased inoculum potential (IP) of Fusarium spp. due to larger amount of crop residues remaining on the soil surface, in combination with weather conditions promoting fungal growth and infection of cereal plants. The objective of this work was to elucidate the influence of different tillage practices on the IP of Fusarium spp. and the subsequent Fusarium-infection and mycotoxin contamination of spring wheat grain at harvest. Tillage trials were conducted at two locations in southeast Norway (Solør and Toten) over three years, 2010-2012. Residues of wheat from the previous year were collected in spring. Fusarium avenaceum and Fusarium graminearum were the most common Fusarium species recorded on wheat straw residues. IP was calculated as the percentage of the residues infested with Fusarium spp. multiplied by the proportion of the soil surface covered with residues. The IP of Fusarium spp. was lower in ploughed plots compared to those tilled with harrowing only. Ploughing in spring resulted in a similarly low IP as autumn ploughing. In contrast, harrowing in autumn generally reduced IP more than did spring harrowing. The mycotoxin levels in the harvested wheat were generally low, except for deoxynivalenol at high levels in Solør 2011. Despite a lower IP of ploughed versus harrowed plots, this was not reflected in the content of Fusarium and mycotoxins in harvested grain. The Fusarium species that dominated in the residues examined in this study were the same as those detected in the harvested grain, supporting the finding that residues are an important source of inoculum.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the agricultural extension service groups at Solør and the technical staff at NIBIO for the implementation of the field experiments and especially Jafar Razzaghian for the assessment of Fusarium in straw residues. This work was financed by The Agriculture and Food Industry Research Funds – FFL/JA (The Research Council of Norway grant 199412/E50) with support from the industry partners Animalia, Bayer Crop Science, Braskereidfoss kornsilo, Felleskjøpet Agri, Felleskjøpet Rogaland og Agder, Fiskå Mølle, Flisa Mølle og Kornsilo, Graminor, Lantmännen Cerealia, Norgesfôr, Norgesmøllene, Norkorn.
© 2020 Wageningen Academic Publishers.
- Fusarium avenaceum
- Fusarium graminearum
- Straw residues