Avoid disease

By Country News

Grain growers are being urged to use the new cereal and pulse disease guides when planning for the control of crop diseases this season.

The guides, put together by Agriculture Victoria and supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, provide the latest disease resistance ratings to assist with disease management planning.

‘‘The disease ratings provide information on how a range of different cereal and pulse varieties will perform in the presence of disease,’’ Agriculture Victoria senior research scientist Grant Hollaway said.

‘‘The ratings are developed nationally and released in February, providing the most up-to-date information.

‘‘Resistant varieties are an important part of a proactive disease management strategy.

‘‘Where varieties have resistance to the important diseases, they may not require — or only require minimal — additional fungicide protection.

‘‘For diseases such as stripe rust, for example, a variety that does not have adequate resistance can suffer yield losses of more than 50 per cent.’’

Dr Hollaway said the ratings provided in the pulse and cereal disease guides were based on an understanding of the diseases present in Victoria and on data collected from plant pathologists working across Australia with support from GRDC.

‘‘The ratings provided in these guides are used by farmers when selecting new varieties and when they need to understand the disease risk in their varieties.’’

■The guides are available at: and