25 www.seed.ab.ca | spring.2019 Kennedy points out that wheat farmers who apply fungicides regularly to guard against FHB infection can save money with the tool by not having to spray as often. By only spraying when the FHB risk is highest, he says, “this also mitigates the risk of resistance building up in the fungus.” Kennedy says he has heard good things about the FHB risk assessment system from growers across the province. “They see it as a useful tool.” Kennedy cautions that weather isn’t the only consideration when assessing FHB risk. Farmers need to be aware of other risk factors such as: • The stage of the crop • The level of fusarium infestation in their area • The susceptibility of the variety seeded • If the seed was infected with fusarium • If a seed treatment was used • The history of the crop rotation in the field • Past stubble and straw management practices New Features Kennedy says the system’s developers chose a mobile friendly website rather than an app as a platform for the tool to make it easier to use. “The advantage for users is they don’t have to install something on their mobile device. We tend to get a lot of apps on our devices that are always updating or sending us reminders, which leads to a lot of them being deleted. So, if this is added to their favourites on their browser on their phone, they can look at it at any time without having to install any software,” he says. Kennedy notes that a number of new features were added to the tool this past growing season, including pest management recommendations and risk assessment maps for alfalfa weevil, bertha armyworm and wheat midge. Data related to growing degree days and corn heat units was also added in 2018, and there are discussions about adding more features in 2019, Kennedy says. According to Turkington, the hope is to update the model for weather predictions in the risk calculations for fusarium head blight. “The models are continually being refined,” he says. “If you look at some of the recent risk maps in the United States, they’re starting to focus now on mean relative humidity over the previous 14-day period, but it was felt we could start with the model version currently being used in Manitoba, at least in the initial phases of the project and then update as needed.” Kennedy says more work needs to be done across the entire Prairie region to ground-proof the disease risk assessment models for Western Canada, and that it’ll take a couple of years of scientific study to incorporate weather forecasts into the Alberta FHB tool. Mark Halsall can’t control the weather But with a Cash Advance from CCGA youcan control when to market your crop. More cash flow means less pressure to sell and more control to execute your marketing plan, allowing you to sell at the best time for the best price. Call 1-866-745-2256 or visit ccga.ca/cash. 45 commodities $ 100k interest free $ 400k blended interest rate below prime