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Cereal Rust Infects Crops Early in Season

05 August 2011

AUSTRALIA - Grain growers throughout the southern cropping region are being warned of the potential for yield losses from cereal rusts following early reports of infections in crops in Victoria, South Australia and southern New South Wales.

Reports of stem, leaf and stripe rust in wheat crops have sparked a warning from authorities who are urging growers and agronomists to implement monitoring and control strategies.

Supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), cereal disease experts say the early reports of infections in crops confirm that the southern cropping region is facing the worst cereal disease risk in nearly 40 years.

The risk is high due to increased inoculum levels in crops during 2010 and the carryover of rust on abundant volunteer plants following high summer rainfall in many parts.

Australian Cereal Rust Control Program Consultative Committee chairman Grant Hollaway (DPI Victoria), says early rust infections in crops increase the potential for yield loss if control strategies are not implemented.

"Growers need to take an active approach to rust management," Dr Hollaway said.

"Farmers and agronomists should now be monitoring their wheat crops for stripe, leaf and stem rust. If rust is detected, they should check the rust resistance rating and implement their rust management plan."

TheCropSite News Desk

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