The Rust Bust

The Rust Bust is an initiative of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP), with support from the GRDC. Rust Bust aims to raise awareness of wheat rust management strategies that reduce the risk of disease outbreak.

Check resistance ratings for your varieties

The Rust Bust’s key message is to encourage growers to phase out varieties that are susceptible and very susceptible to rust. Check what resistance ratings your varieties have here.

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Solving the rust puzzle

The official Rust Bust brochure, Management Strategies to benefit you, your neighbour and your industry, offers practical tips and strategies to bust rust this season.

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The Rust Bust is an initiative of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP) Consultative Committee, with support from the Grains Research & Development Corporation.  Rust Bust aims to raise awareness of wheat rust management strategies that reduces risk of disease outbreak.

The campaign’s key message is to encourage growers to phase out varieties that are susceptible and very susceptible to rust and for growers / agronomists to be more effective managers of the disease.

The Rust Bust campaign encourages wheat growers to use all the tools available for rust management including:

  • Removing the green bridge (volunteer cereals) by mid-March;
  • Growing varieties with adequate resistance to stem, stripe and leaf rusts;
  • Applying fungicides to seed or fertilisers for early season rust suppression , and
  • Monitoring crops for rust and if needed, applying foliar fungicides for disease control.

Puccinia triticina

The leaf rust fungus forms small circular or oval, orange/brown pustules on the upper surfaces of leaves. Spores produced in these pustules can be rubbed off with your finger or a tissue. Later in the season, rust pustules may develop on leaf sheaths. As the crop matures, a different type of spore, which is black and called a teliospore, is produced. In the absence of an alternate host in Australia, the teliospores play no further role in disease development.

Puccinia graminis tritici

Stem rust is characterised by reddish-brown, powdery oblong-shaped pustules on stems as well as leaves, leaf sheaths and heads. Pustules on leaves will rupture on both sides of the leaf blade. The pustules tend to run parallel to the long axis of the leaf or stem. As the plant matures and towards the end of the growing season, the pustules turn black as stem rust teliospores are produced.

Puccinia striiformis tritici

Stripe rust typically forms long stripes of small yellow/orange pustules on the leaf. In juvenile plants, stripes are not produced and individual pustules are similar to pale leaf rust. The pustules, which run parallel to the long axis of the leaf, consist of masses of spores. The spores can be easily rubbed off causing a yellow smear on your fingers.

WA: Leaf rust infecting wheat crops

Plant pathologist Andrea Hills (DPIRD) has been receiving reports of wheat leaf rust (WLR) in Mace, Scepter and Trojan in an area encompassing Cascade, Coomalbidgup, eastern Grass Patch, Beaumont and Condingup. The wheat crops are currently at stem elongation and rust...
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WA: Barley and wheat leaf rust

Plant pathologist Andrea Hills (DPIRD) has reported finding barley leaf rust (BLR) on Oxford, Flinders, Maltstar and Granger plants at a DPIRD trial site near Gibson. The plants are at the stem elongation stage. Esperance agronomists have also reported that Oxford...
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WA: Leaf rust in wheat near Gairdner, South Coast

Wheat leaf rust (WLR) has been found in tillering Harper wheat near Gairdner on the south coast of WA. It was a widespread crop infection.  James Bee from Elders commented that he had observed several pustules on the older leaves on multiple plants in multiple...
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NSW: First stripe rust sample received

The first stripe rust sample for the 2017/18 season has been received by the Australian Cereal Rust Survey team at the Plant Breeding Institute, University of Sydney. It is from North Star, NSW, on Sunlamb wheat. NSW Contact Northern: Steve Simpfendorfer NSW...
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WA: Leaf rust in barley regrowth

Barley leaf rust (BLR) and loose smut have been found on barley regrowth in the West Kendenup area and BLR at a farm on Kojaneerup West Road in the shire of Albany. Leaf rust infection has been found in volunteer barley in several areas of the lower Great Southern...
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Check your variety’s resistance ratings

The ACRCP encourages growers to phase out susceptible and very susceptible varieties from their rotation where possible. Consult the Cereal Variety Disease Guide in your region.

Best practice management strategies

The Rust Bust booklet – Best practice rust management strategies to help benefit you, your industry and your neighbour – contains all you need to know to effectively manage rust on your farm.

Contact us

To contact your local state representative, head to our contacts page.

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