The Australian Cereal Rust Control Program Consultative Committee (ACRCP CC) launched the Rust Bust campaign in March 2011 to encourage growers to be proactive in response to the worst disease risk in nearly 40 years.

A rust outbreak in Australia has the potential to slash farm incomes which is why it is so vital growers and advisers implement a plan to manage rust at the beginning of the season, rather than waiting for a rust outbreak to occur and then planning a control approach.

The entire wheat industry – from grain growers through to breeders and the seed industry – must be on the front foot with regard to rust. With variances from season to season, prevention of an devastating outbreak requires proactive decisions throughout the year.

The Rust Bust’s charter is to support growers and advisers by providing information and tools on how to proactively manage rust.

The campaign continues to promote the following key messages for effective rust control:

  • Remove the green bridge by mid-March.
  • Grow varieties with adequate resistance to the stem, stripe and leaf rusts.
  • Apply fungicides on seed or fertilisers for rust suppression.
  • Monitor crops for rust and if needed, apply foliar fungicide for disease control.

The Rust Bust is an initiative of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program Consultative Committee, with investment by the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

The Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP, established in 1973) monitors cereal rust pathogens throughout Australia, finds and characterises new sources of rust resistance, and assists Australian cereal breeding groups to incorporate rust resistance in new cultivars.

The ACRCP is funded largely by the grains industry, through the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC). It has a national mandate and with 6 senior scientists, 8 technicians and currently 7 PhD students, is one of the largest groups involved in cereal rust research in the world.

The ACRCP Consultative Committee is a key link between industry and the ACRCP. The Consultative Committee has a wide basis for membership, which includes representatives from state pathology and breeding groups. It meets at least once per year and has a key role in ensuring alignment and industry relevance of ACRCP operations.

The Grains Research & Development Corporation is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations, responsible for planning, investing and overseeing research and development, delivering improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry. GRDC is a statutory corporation, founded in 1990 under the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989 (PIERD Act), it is subject to accountability and reporting obligations set out in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act). The GRDC’s portfolio department is the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

The GRDC’s mission is to invest in research and development for the greatest benefit to its stakeholders – graingrowers and the Australian Government. The Corporation links innovative research with industry needs. The GRDC’s vision is for a profitable, internationally competitive and ecologically sustainable grains industry.