Crop Biotech Update

Scientist Advise Monitor Cereal Varieties Susceptible to Rust

October 8, 2010

With the beginning of warmer conditions in South Australia, growers will need to give attention to cereal varieties that are vulnerable to rusts.

According to Dr. Hugh Wallwork, a senior plant pathologist at the SA Research and Development Institute, the unseasonably cool weather in the past weeks "has kept the level of leaf rust down and possibly also suppressed the stripe rust to some degree." With the current rising temperatures, these rusts could have increased rate of multiplication, thus, susceptible varieties must be closely monitored. He also reported that there is widespread infestation of stem rust in in a crop of Kite wheat at Baroota, close to Spencer Gulf.

"The crop was sown in early April and is now close to maturity," he says. "Stem rust has also been reported from nearby crops of Kite and Blade wheat but not in nearby Gladius, Mace, Clearfield JNZ or Axe. This region has long been known to be a high risk area for stem rust due to its warmer climate with coastal influences."

Read the media release of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) at http://www.grdc.com.au/director/events/mediareleases.cfm?item_id=EEBB988FE1AE1E7D3FBF30D7E59E59DB&pageNumber=9.