DON in Wheat

— Written By and last updated by

Gary Cross
Area Agent Crops
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Granville/Person Counties

Check your grain for DON or Vomitoxin.

If you had quite a bit of head scab in your wheat this year you may want to test for DON or Vomitoxin. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture will run a chemical test for DON for $38.50. 3.31bs sample is preferred.

What is DON? DON is a fusarium brought in by head scab. You can get a serious dockage at the elevator and results in a poor quality wheat that cannot and should not be used for seed production the following year. DON produces very low test weight seed which gives more discounts at the elevator. Try to separate the DON infected wheat from the good quality wheat. Try to use a cleaner to separate out the small fines before you put the wheat in the bins and use a grain spreader to distribute scabby kernels more evenly to minimize spoilage risks. Try not to plant corn behind wheat or visa versa or you could be creating conditions for head scab next year. When wheat is infected with DON all of the wheat will be blended into livestock rations at FDA established DON advisory levels. To limit DON next year plant varieties that have head scab resistance and use a quality fungicide program for increased disease control.