Management options for crown rot control in WA
Miyan, S., Hüberli, D., Connor, M. and MacLeod, B. (2014) Management options for crown rot control in WA. In: North Mallee Farm Improvement Group Crop Updates 2014, 20 March, Salmon Gums, Western Australia pp. 52-60.
Crown rot, caused by the fungus Fusarium pseudograminearum and F. culmorum, 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 gran. It appears to be worst in heavy soils in the eastern wheat belt. Crown rot s estimated to cost the Australian grains industry up to SSO million per annum (Murray & Brennan. 2009). This fungus has a wide host range among the cereals and grasses and can survive in infected plant residues for many years, infection can occur when plants come in close contact with those residues. The crown and lower stem close to the ground of infected plants have a honey-brown discoloration and the insides of the leaf sheaths sometimes have a faint pink colour which is a typical sign 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 fungicides for crown rot control. Management options to control crown rot are limited. Reducing inoculum through rotation with non-host crops. Sowing between rows of standing stubble and using a less susceptible variety can reduce the crown rot incidence and increase grain production in paddocks with a previous history of crown rot.
The primary objective of the research trials described in this paper was to compare the effect of susceptibility of wheat varieties on disease incidence, grain yield arid quality at two locations in 2013. These trials were set up in 2013 and will be sown over with the susceptible variety Mace to assess the impact of inoculum level and on and off row sowing on disease incidence, grain yield and quality in 2014. The main objective of the large scale demonstration trials was to compare the effect of susceptible and less susceptible wheat varieties, and Inter-row sowing on disease incidence, grain yield and quality.
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