Crop diseases

Plant diseases are a significant yield and quality constraint for growers of broadacre crops in Western Australia.

Plant pathogens can be fungal, bacterial, viral or nematodes and can damage plant parts above or below the ground. Identifying symptoms and knowing when and how to effectively control diseases is an ongoing challenge for WA growers of cereals (wheat, barley, oats and triticale), pulses (field pea, chickpea, faba bean), canola and lupin crops.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has a strong research, development and extension focus to assist industry to reduce the impact of crop diseases on all broadacre crops.

Results of extensive field/lab/glass house research and surveys across the WA grainbelt every year contribute to disease management packages and forecasting tools, and identify new incursions of crop pathogens or strains into WA.

The department also gathers and extends industry disease reports (PestFax), provides a disease diagnosis service and a broad range of management information for specific foliar and root diseases and viruses.

Articles

  • Management of weeds, disease and nitrogen nutrition are ongoing challenges that limit yield potential.

  • Spot type net blotch (STNB) has become increasingly more common due to the widespread cultivation of susceptible varieties, including Hindmarsh, LaTrobe and Scope CL.

  • There are many economic and financial implications that need to be considered when choosing a management option. These may include:

  • The 2017 disease ratings for wheat varieties in Western Australia are available (see Documents).

  • Varietal symptoms vary but leaf mottling and puckering is common

    Crops should be monitored for leaf diseases in order to undertake appropriate control measures when first detected, and to alter management strategies in subsequent crops that will minimise the imp

  • Roots of affected plants are blackened and brittle and break easily, and are black to the core not just on outer surface.

    Plant root diseases are one of the main factors responsible for poor crop yields.

  • Cotyledon infection

    Crops should be monitored for leaf diseases in order to undertake appropriate control measures when first detected and to alter management strategies in subsequent crops that will minimise the impa

  • Monitoring your crop allows timely intervention to manage constraints, assess crop growth, target maximum crop yield and optimise grain quality and profitability.

  • Sclerotinia stem rot is a fungal disease of canola, initially only common in parts of the northern agricultural region.

  • In Western Australia's Mediterranean-type climate, the survival of pests and diseases over summer is often critical in determining pest outbreaks and disease epidemics in broadacre crops.

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