Growers will have access to disease resistance rating data across a broader range of crops thanks to a new five-year project being led by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
The new National Variety Trials (NVT) project, a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment, is an extension of previous work focusing on foliar diseases in NVT lines and commercial varieties of wheat and barley only, to now incorporate oats, field peas and lupins.
The new project will also include screening of wheat and barley for the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus quasitereoides, which is unique to Western Australia (WA).
DPRID senior plant pathologist Manisha Shankar is leading the project which is part of a national program utilising expert pathologists across Australia to screen 182 trial sites.
Dr Shankar said widening the scope of the project meant that growers had access to more comprehensive disease information to consider when selecting varieties for their cropping programs.
“Growers will be able to select varieties likely to give them the best economic return, based on their yield potential and disease resistance rating.”
Dr Shankar said WA had 49 trial sites based at Carnarvon, Geraldton, South Perth, Shenton Park, Manjimup and Esperance.
“The trial sites include wheat, barley, oats, field peas and lupin crops which will be screened for diseases such as rusts, leaf spots and blotches, powdery mildew, smut, bunt, stem and root rots, viruses and nematodes.
“Crops are screened at various growth stages, across different environments to provide comprehensive data on how growing conditions impact on disease development in crops.
“For example, seasonal conditions are an important risk factor for diseases like yellow spot and nodorum blotch. Infection is much greater where moist conditions extend over longer periods during the growing season.”
The project will run until April 2024 and all disease resistance ratings data will be published on the NVT online website.
Disease ratings for NVT lines and commercial varieties are published annually in the regional crop variety guides.
Media contact: Jodie Thomson/Katrina Bowers, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937