Agricultural Economics Department



Christina Cowger

Date of this Version



Agriculture 2019, 9, 155


© 2019 by the authors.

Open access



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.