[ASC-media] LOOSE SMUT'S INFECTION HARD TO TREAT: GRDC Crop Doctor

Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Aug 23 03:48:10 CEST 2006


LOOSE SMUT’S INFECTION HARD TO TREAT


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Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) research has shown how important
it is to use clean seed and effective fungicide dressings to control loose
smut in Baudin barley.

 

The Grains Research and Development Corporation supported research was
conducted by DAFWA plant pathologists Geoff Thomas and Kith Jayasena at
Beverley, Mt Barker and Gibson last year after loose smut was detected in
many south coast Baudin crops in 2004.

 

While the 2005 trials showed fungicide dressings reduced loose smut
transmission in Baudin barley, they also showed eradication could not be
guaranteed.

 

Mr Thomas said last year’s trials confirmed previous findings and showed
that the level of disease control varied between active ingredients and
location.

 

Loose smut seed infection can vary greatly, with infection levels as high as
32 per cent recorded in WA. But maximum infection levels of 5 -10 per cent
are more likely.

 

Mr Thomas said with high seed infection levels, fungicide dressings that
were

60 - 90 per cent effective could still leave significant levels of loose
smut in crops.

 

It was therefore essential to use only seed with the lowest possible
exposure to infection and to ensure fungicides were applied effectively.

 

In-furrow fungicides are not registered for management of smut and bunt
diseases. The in-furrow treatment in the trials had no effect on loose smut
disease levels.

 

The fungicide treatments had the added benefit of reduced powdery mildew
severity, with no evidence in these trials that they adversely affected
plant growth.

 

Choosing a fungicide treatment that controls multiple diseases, smut,
powdery mildew and scald will be an advantage. 

 

Loose smut is more severe in wetter environments and therefore more likely
to be a significant disease issue for barley growers in southern regions of
WA.

 

www.grdc.com.au


The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6272 5525


Further Information: Geoff Thomas, Tel 9368 3262, Kith Jayasena Tel 9892
8477.

GRDC REF:CDJuly061.doc/DAW00106/Sandow

Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing 
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122



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