Farm Management

Wheat disease ratings updated

Wheat growers planning their cropping program have been advised to check the updated 2016 disease ratings for Western Australian varieties.

The Department of Agriculture and Food conducts research to determine disease ratings annually, as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s National Variety Trials (NVT).

Disease ratings are provided for 42 Western Australian wheat varieties to 13 wheat diseases, including stem, stripe and leaf rusts, crown rot and Septoria nodorum blotch, yellow spot and powdery mildew.

Department research officer Christine Zaicou-Kunesch said there were ratings for released varieties and revised disease ratings for current varieties.

“Mace continues to dominate plantings, comprising 67 per cent of the estimated area sown to wheat in 2015, according to data from the CBH Group, assisted by its wide adoption across regions and soil types,” Ms Zaicou-Kunesch said.

“Mace is provisionally rated as moderately susceptible to leaf rust but, along with several other varieties, may be more susceptible to the leaf rust pathotype discovered in WA in late 2015.

“We also have disease ratings for recently released lines, including Bremer, Cutlass, Hydra, Impress CL Plus, Scepter, Supreme and Zen.”

Ms Zaicou-Kunesch said it was timely for growers to review ratings for foliar diseases and fungal root rots and consider appropriate seed dressings or in-furrow fungicides to combat infection.

“Growers should also be vigilant and monitor crops for early disease onset, particularly since the significant autumn rainfall in many areas is supporting a green bridge,” she said.

While variety selection is a major consideration to reduce the risk of wheat disease outbreaks, disease severity depends on the presence of inoculum carried over from the previous season, seasonal conditions and the virulence of the pathotype that is present.

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