Cereal rust a clear and present danger

29 May, 2009 01:43 PM

Cereal rust poses a clear and present danger to crops this year throughout WA's south coast and lower Great Southern regions, according to the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Dr Rohan Rainbow, GRDC manager of crop protection, has warned that wheat stem rust and barley leaf rust has been spotted in both regions.

He says resistant wheat varieties are the first line of defence against rust, particularly in high stripe rust risk areas.

"Using stem rust resistant varieties is likely to be highly effective, reducing the need for fungicide in high disease risk areas," Dr Rainbow said.

"Stripe and leaf rusts may be delayed by strategic fungicide use, including seed dressings and in-furrow fungicides that are active against rusts, together with foliar fungicides."

* Further Information on cereal rust management is available at the GRDC website.

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30/05/2009 5:24:40 PM

Why does the GRDC continue to ignore evidence that high nitrogen use increases the incidence of rust infection in cerial crops? Why don't they research comprehensively alternative management and fertiliser systems including biological systems which may significantly increase plant resistance and defence against diseases. Is it because there has to be a commercal outcome for someone other than farmers that alternatives are almost outlawed by the GRDC heirachy.


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