Growers urged to monitor green bridge leading into 2018

29 Oct 2017 | Rust alerts, WA

Growers need to consider potential disease carryover into the 2018 season if wet conditions are experienced during summer resulting in weed and crop regrowth. This vegetation can serve as a ‘green bridge’ for diseases which need a living plant to survive, such as cereal rusts and viruses.

Rust spores are wind dispersed and can go through several cycles during the cropping season. This year, wheat leaf rust was found from Yuna to Esperance, and barley leaf rust and powdery mildew (wheat and barley) were common in central and southern areas. Barley and wheat volunteers can act as a ‘green bridge’ during a wet summer and autumn carrying inoculum of these diseases into the new cropping season.

Weed and crop volunteers can also act as a between-season host for root diseases and aphids. If weeds and/or volunteers are present at the start of the new cropping season, particularly in or adjacent to cropping paddocks, there is a greater risk of early spread of pests, viruses and diseases to newly emerging crops.

WA Contacts

Central Agricultural Region
Geoff Thomas
Plant Pathologist
Dept of Agriculture & Food, WA

Northern Agricultural Region
Ciara Beard
Dept of Agriculture & Food, WA

Southern Agricultural Region
Kith Jayasena
Dept of Agriculture & Food, WA