Vic growers urged to minimise cereal disease

Grain Central, July 10, 2023

Septoria Tritici Blotch (STB) in wheat.

WITH the 2023 winter-cropping season well under way, Agriculture Victoria is urging farmers to look out for emerging signs of diseases such as Septoria tritici blotch and stripe rust in wheat and Net blotches in barley crops.

Agriculture Victoria senior cereal pathologist Hari Dadu said in a normal season signs of
disease on crops wouldn’t be seen until July or early August, however diseases had already been
found in crops this year in the Wimmera.

“Stripe rust on volunteer wheat plants was noted in April, a Septoria infection in wheat was found in
May and a seedling infection of net form of net blotch in barley was identified in early sown crops in
June,” Dr Dadu said.

“Above-average spring rainfall last year followed by rain this season has helped to carry over high
levels of disease in stubble and on volunteer plants, creating conducive conditions for disease to

“Growers will be monitoring their crops, but we also encourage them to check disease-resistance
ratings for the varieties they have sown using an up-to-date disease guide because these ratings
are reassessed annually.”

Current indicators suggest the potential for an outbreak is high unless a dry spring occurs, and the
upper canopy of crops is not affected.

Dr Dadu said if disease is present, it can be controlled with a well-timed fungicide application.

“Two foliage fungicide applications have been found to be economical for varieties susceptible to
Septoria tritici blotch and net blotches.

“As we saw last season, if crop disease takes hold early in the season the damage is significant
unless a well-timed fungicide is applied.”

Growers can download and use the StripeRustWM App to manage their fungicide application
program for stripe rust control. The StripeRustWM app is now available for mobile phones as well
as the original tablet app.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria Cereal disease guide for more information.

Source: Agriculture Victoria


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