Nathan Kleczewski, Extension Specialist – Plant Pathology; firstname.lastname@example.org; @Delmarplantdoc
Several weeks ago I published the results of the misted nursery jointly managed by our lab at the University of Delaware and the Field Trials group at the University of Maryland. I have had several questions about how best to use the data. The misted nursery should be used as the final step in selecting your varieties. Growers should look carefully at varieties and select 5-6 varieties that yield well and have good test weights. Next, check the variety descriptions or variety trials from DE, MD, and VA to see which of these varieties has the best foliar disease package, paying careful attention to the leaf blotches (septoria/stagonospora/tan spot), and powdery mildew. Finally, of your top selections, which now should have excellent yield and test weight potential as well as leaf blotch and powdery mildew resistance, look at the misted nursery data from 2016 and 2017. Look at the DON column and select the variety or varieties that have the lowest DON values and hopefully, are located in the green section of the listing. Avoid varieties that are red and be cautious with those that are yellow. Using this protocol you will ensure that you are not only selecting a high yielding variety, but also one that will be at far less risk for major diseases, should require less inputs, and will put you in a better situation should FHB favorable conditions arise next season.