Q: What if I plant scabby wheat for grain or use it as a cover crop?
A: You can certainly plant scabby wheat, but doing so will more than likely result in poor stand establishment because affected seeds may not germinate or germinate producing seedlings of poor quality. Before planting, make sure you clean the seed to remove the scabby, light weight kernels, and used a seed treatment fungicide. Click here for more information: https://agcrops.osu.edu/corn/newsletters/2015/2015-21/#4
Q: Will planting scabby seed lead to vomitoxin problems in wheat next year?
A: No. After the seeds germinate, the emerging seedling and heads will not automatically become contaminated with vomitoxin. Whether or not next year’s crop becomes contaminated will depend on the weather conditions between heading and harvest.
Q: Will spreading scabby wheat across a field affect scab and ear rot development next year?
A: If scabby wheat is only broadcasted and not incorporated into the soil, it could contribute to increasing the level of Fusarium inoculum next year, particularly if the seeds are too damaged to germinate. So while broadcasting is a recommended practice for handling scabby wheat, it would help to incorporate in; broadcast it uniformly and then work it into the upper few inches of the soil. Unlike wheat straw, scabby wheat grains tend to breakdown much faster, and plowing or disking can speed-up the process of decomposition. This will help to reduce inoculum build-up.