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.
The Rust Bust is an initiative of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP) Consultative Committee, with investment 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.
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.
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.