Today's Date: 2017-02-21

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Fusarium Head Blight Model Information

The experimental Fusarium Head Blight (FHB or scab) epidemic risk model provided on this website is offered as a disease management tool to estimate the risk of a FHB epidemic of >=10% severity. The model is considered to be a pre-flowering model, meaning that it does not use weather conditions from during or after flowering to estimate the risk of scab. The overall prediction accuracy of the model is estimated at approximately 79%. More specifically, the model has been shown to correctly predict 79% of the FHB epidemics and 80% of the non-epidemic cases correctly.

The model utilizes weather conditions during the 7 days (168 hours) prior to flowering as predictors of scab epidemics. To use the model properly you should select the FHB epidemic forecast for a time coinciding with or just prior to the onset of flowering in a particular field. The predictor variables in the model are:

Note that cases with a duration of rainfall of in excess of 20 hours were rare in the data sets used to develop the model. Those few cases in which this condition was met resulted in both epidemics and non-epidemics, suggesting a greater degree of uncertainty compared to cases with < 20 hours of rain. If you experience 20 hours or more of rain during the 7 days prior to flowering carefully evaluate conditions at flower to determine the likelihood of a scab epidemic.

The FHB model utilized on this website has been produced through cooperative research efforts between the following researchers at Penn State University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, and University of Nebraska. Its development was funded, in part, by the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.

Weather Input to the FHB Model

The 79% prediction accuracy of this model is dependent upon having reliable weather information to serve as input to the model. Unfortunately, hour-by-hour in-field weather observations are rarely available. As such, Meridian Environmental Technology has developed a process for combining weather observations from a number of sources (including the National Weather Service (NWS), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North Dakota Agricultural Network (NDAWN), and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) observation systems) with information from computer models and NOAA Doppler weather radars and satellites. The result of this process is a nearly field-by-field estimate of past weather conditions. These weather estimates are subject to errors, however, so the FHB epidemic forecasts for a particular field and variations in that forecast between nearby fields should be utilized with caution.

When you view the FHB risk forecast for a specific flowering date and location you may view the estimated weather conditions used to calculate that FHB risk by viewing the hour-by-hour weather condition tables at the bottom of the page. For your convenience, a 12-hr forecast of weather conditions is also provided whenever you are viewing the current FHB risk in order to help you anticipate how conditions may change in the immediate future and also evaluate the favorability of conditions for a fungicide application.