Fusarium head blight (FHB) occurrence and extent were thoroughly examined on 52 wheat fields from 5 districts within 3 zones of Oromia. The results showed that FHB was 93.9% prevalent with significantly varied levels of incidences (among zones) and severity (among districts and zones). The highest incidence of 38.7 and 26.0% were recorded in Buno-Bedele and Jimma zones. Correspondingly, the highest field-severity and FHB-index of 28.2 and 13.9% were recorded in Buno-Bedele. Besides, the 2 mostly grown Danda’a and Digalu varieties were vulnerable to FHB sustaining 32.3 and 30.5% incidence, 21.8% and 21.7% field-severity, and 10.5% and 8.8% FHB-index. The variation in FHB intensity was mostly influenced by altitude, tillage frequency before sowing, and rainfall received during flowering to hard-dough stages. This study reveals the evidence that FHB is becoming a potential disease to wheat in Southwestern Ethiopia (SWE). Thus, demands an intervention to reduce its probable risk to wheat across SWE.
Keywords: FHB; Fusarium spp.; Triticum aestivum