WA: Leaf rust infecting wheat crops

31 Jul 2017 | Rust alerts, WA

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 levels are low. All infected crops will receive a flag leaf fungicide.

WLR has not been seen a lot in recent times but with WLR currently being found in crops that have not reached flag leaf emergence this indicates that it may be more dangerous this season. Plus with warmer temperatures likely to be starting in the coming weeks, it is important that crops are monitored for the presence of rusts, as managing these diseases at low levels in crop is far more effective than once they are well established.

Monitoring priorities include susceptible varieties and those crops in areas where regrowth wheat has been allowed to perpetuate and mature. Remember to look into the bottom of the canopy and stems for the presence of stem rust. The optimal temperature range for leaf rust development and spread in wheat is 15-25°C, while for stem rust it is 20-35°C.

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