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 Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) 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.

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


  • 17 July 2017

    Powdery mildew has become more prevalent in WA wheat crops over the past few years, particularly late in seasons.

  • 17 July 2017

    Information is provided here to assist management of diseases and viruses that occur in broadacre crops grown in Western Australia - cereals (wheat, barley, oats and triticale), pulses (field pea,

  • 18 July 2017

    PestFax is a weekly informative and interactive reporting service, providing risk alerts, current information and advice on pests and diseases threatening crops and pastures throughout the grain be

  • At head emergence, each grain is replaced by brown to black powdery spores
    25 July 2017

    Loose smut (Ustilago avenae) and covered smut (Ustilago hordei) of oats are both externally seed- borne diseases with similar symptoms which are difficult to distinguish in the fi

  • 26 July 2017

    e-Surveillance for pests and diseases in the Western Australian (WA) grape industry project is a transformational project aiming to boost the early detection of exotic pests and disease incursions


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