A fungal disease that produces toxic fruiting bodies in cereal heads and for which there are strict receival standards in place.
What to look for
- Hard dry purple-black fungal bodies (ergots) that replace the grain in the seed head.
- Yellow droplets of sugary slime in infected heads during flowering.
Where did it come from?
- Ergots survive in the soil for up to one year, producing spores that infect plants during flowering.
- Infection prefers cool wet weather at flowering.
- Spread by rain-splash or by insects attracted to the sugary droplets.
- High levels of grass-weed contamination can increase ergot infection in cereals, or ergots produced in grasses can contaminate grain samples.
- Give contaminated paddocks a one-year break without cereals or grasses.
- Manage grass weed contamination in crops.
- Seed cleaning.
Where to go for expert help
Page last updated: Thursday, 16 April 2015 - 10:29am