Wheat is moving into the soft dough stage and starting to turn brown. Once the water content of the kernels drops to around 30%, the plant loses most of the green color but the kernels can still be cut by pressing with a thumbnail. This is at hard dough stage and marks the end of all insect and disease management.
In terms of Fusarium head blight, according to Extension Pathologist, Dr. Alfredo Martinez, the damage was done during flowering and fungicide sprays after the fact will not help. I am still seeing it in fields. There is nothing we can do now except harvest early, turn up the air during harvest and separate bad fields.
UGA Extension Grain Agronomist, Dr. Dewey Lee, says this concerning Fusarium head blight. “I believe yield loss will be severe in some fields depending on many things. The infection process of FHB begins when the anthers extrude beyond the glumes and are infected by Fusarium. It requires the type of weather we had this year, lots of rain, wet conditions during flowering with moderate temperatures. Infected flowers either abort or develop kernels that are typically shriveled and may demonstrate a pink discoloration (from the mycelium). The pathogen will produce a mycotoxin, DON (deoxynivalenol). This fumonisin is often rejected in the market at level above 2 ppm. Because of this, I encourage growers to blow as much air as possible to take out the lower test weight/shriveled grain.
My suggestions is to harvest as early as possible and make sure to separate bad fields from your good fields.”
Terrell County Ag Agent Nick McGhee has a good article on the Nochaway Ag Blog that can be viewed here: http://blog.extension.uga.edu/nochaway/2014/05/fusarium-head-blight-a-problem-in-area-wheat/