BARLEY growers have been asked to send any plants with the fungal disease Net Type Net Blotch (NTNB) to the Department of Agriculture and Food, after evidence of new pathotypes were discovered last season.
Department plant pathologist Geoff Thomas said the new pathotypes were found mainly in the Albany and Esperance regions, with Oxford feed barley most affected.
Mr Thomas said the department was working to verify information about the NTNB pathotypes and would welcome any samples of infected plant material.
"Over the past few years, NTNB pathotypes have been relatively stable in WA and variety responses to the disease have been consistent," he said.
"Tests of last season's samples and the recent increased susceptibility in Oxford barley indicates that there could be some variability in pathotypes.
"There is also anecdotal evidence that there may be regional differences in pathotypes."
NTNB is a stubble-borne fungal foliar disease that can reduce grain yields and quality and is most prevalent in medium to high-rainfall areas.
It is characterised by blotched, yellowing and dead leaves, which are generally evenly distributed across the crop.
Any leaf material with NTNB should be sent to Jason Bradley, Department of Agriculture and Food, WA, Locked Bag 4, Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983.
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