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.