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Management options for Crown rot in Western Australia

Miyan, S., Hüberli, D., Connor, M. and MacLeod, B. (2013) Management options for Crown rot in Western Australia. In: North Mallee Farm Improvement Group Crop Updates 2013, 14 March, Salmon Gums, Western Australia

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Crown rot, caused by the fungus Fusarium pseudograminearum, is a major constraint to winter cereal production in wheat, durum, barley and triticale in Australia. It is present at low levels in most years, but has its worst impact in dry years causing whiteheads that contain either no grain or pinched grain. It appears to be worst in heavy soils in the eastern wheat belt. Crown rot is estimated to cost the Australian grains industry up to $80 million per annum (Murray & Brennan, 2009). This fungus can survive in infected plant residues for many years and a wide host range among the cereals and grasses and infection can occur when plants come in close contact with those residues. The crowns at ground level and the stems close to the ground have a honey-brown discoloration and the insides of the leaf sheaths some-times have a faint pink colour typical of the casual fungus. At heading, scattered white heads appear in the crop, especially in dry seasons. The disease can be confused with Take-All where the white heads appear more in patches than as isolated heads.

Currently, there are no registered chemicals for crown rot control. Management options to control crown rot are limited. Sowing between rows of standing stubble and using a less susceptible variety could reduce the crown rot incidence and increase grain production with a previous history of crown rot.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Copyright: © Western Australian Agriculture Authority, 2013
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