WA survey on wheat mould

28 Jan, 2004 10:00 PM
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AN informal survey will be carried out among growers in southern regions to try and find out what caused mould damage to wheat crops.

The survey, being prepared by Albany-based Agriculture Department agronomists Ron McTaggart and Wal Anderson, will be sent to TopCrop group members throughout affected areas over the next six-eight weeks.

Mr McTaggart said mouldy grain had usually been a storage issue but had emerged as a major problem in paddocks this harvest.

"Usually if we have a wet, overcast harvest we have falling numbers or sprouting problems," he said.

"But this year the presence of field mould has been a fairly big industry issue.

"We presume it is a climatic issue but there may be some other agronomic issues that we are unaware of."

These factors could include treatment or fertiliser regimes, varieties or sowing dates.

"It may be just totally serendipitous or it might be that people left grain out and got caught by the weather," Mr McTaggart said.

"It is most likely to be just bad luck but we will be trying to find out if any patterns emerge among some farmers who had their grain rejected."

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