Thanks in advance for any help with my questions, and please forgive me if they seem noobish.
This is my first year growing spring wheat (Red Fife). I am growing it in Colorado at an elevation of 7,000 ft. It was planted in the beginning of April and is now nearing harvest. It is roughly a 10ft x 4ft patch.
My main question was how to determine if my wheat is safe for consumption. We have had an abnormal amount of rain (almost every day since heading) this year and I just began reading about Fusarium Head Blights and vomitoxin. I'm afraid that some of my wheat heads may be contaminated. I've included a few photos of a what I think is a good wheat head and and what I think is a possible bad wheat head. Hopefully someone might be able to help me out. My wheat patch is small, but I'd hate to throw it out if I don't have to. Let me know if I need to take more pictures, I definitely can.
Google has many images of infected wheat and none of them look like yours the infection never appears to be over the entire head, and your wheat kernels are not bleached as their examples show. I think your possibly infected ear is simply past it's best harvest stage, the missing grains at the top really imply that.
Thanks for your quick response! I never considered an over ripe head. The literature around Fusarium Head blight and mycotoxins in general started to worry me, especially since I've never grown wheat before
I've raised a lot of wheat, just looking at it I'd say your wheat kernels look good. I'm not a disease expert though. Having discolored heads or unfilled locations seems more of a nutrient balance issue. The outer hulls change color a lot as the plant ends its life cycle and dries out, gets sun bleached.
I'm noticing in my travels that shriveled wheat/rye/barley kernels are fairly common this year in the Rocky Mountains. I'm attributing it to the unusually cold weather that occurred while the wheat was flowering. Zach, did your wheat get snowed on while it was flowering?